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The Source: What Can The President Do Alone On Immigration Reform?

The White House

President Obama says he will act alone on immigration reform, but Republican leadership says that would poison the well of cooperation down the road. 

There are an estimated 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants in the country currently.  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 368,644 people last year. Combined with other agencies, Pew puts the number at over a record-setting 438,000. An overwhelming percentage of those had a past criminal offense. 

Relief from the threat of deportation could be coming soon.  Strategies like expanding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program or limiting deportations to certain kinds of groups like "recent illegal entrants" could be on the table.

What might President Obama's plan be? What can he do legally, and what could it mean for impact?


  • Marc Rosenblum, deputy director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute
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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive