President Obama must make changes now in immigration if he wants to count on the support of the Latino community for the next Presidential Elections.
PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS A BIG PROBLEM:
The Latino community threw their support behind then-candidate Barak Obama in his bid to become President on the promise of comprehensive immigration reform. Since President Obama’s election, despite repeated references to the ‘Broken Immigration System,’ Obama has not delivered on his campaign promises. To the contrary, deportations are on a record pace (see article entitled, “Ice Deportations by the Numbers”). Latino leaders, led by Representaive Luis Gutierrez, are clearly frustrated with Obama. Representative Gutierrez was also recently arrested in a deportation protest (STORY) .
HOW CAN OBAMA WIN BACK LATINO SUPPORT FOR THE NEXT ELECTION?
Answer: He could use the “Parole in Place” program. This relatively new policy allows illegal immigrants who are spouses, parents and children of American citizens serving in the military to complete the process of becoming legal residents without having to leave the United States — a procedure that is known in immigration law terms as granting parole. Currently, if you are an immediate relative (spouses, parents and children) of American citizens serving in the military you are generally able to adjust status to become a legal permanent resident if you have been admitted, inspected, or paroled into the United States. “Parole in place” is basically a status the United States government may choose to grant someone who is on US soil illegally, allowing that person to stay while filing an application for legal residency. Without this permission, the undocumented person would need to leave the United States and attempt to apply for legal residency while in her home nation. Leaving the country very likely would subject this person to an inadmissibility bar based on unlawful presence in the United States. My understanding is that the Administration does not need Congressional approval to use or expand the Parole in Place program.
HOW AND WHEN WILL OBAMA USE THE “PAROLE IN PLACE PROGRAM”
That carrot that Obama will likely offer the Latino community is this: vote for me in the next election and I will expand the use of Parole in Place to cover ALL IMMEDIATE RELATIVES, and not just immediate relatives of military personnel.
Latino leaders may respond by stating, ‘start this program now, and not after the elections.’ They may take the position that ‘you (Obama) did not live up to your campaign promises last time, why should we believe you now?’ Other factors to consider include how well the economy is rebounding and how strong of a candidate the Republicans would field. If Obama’s position looks weak, he may have to reach out to the Latino community and expand the Parole in Place program BEFORE and not after the Presidential Elections.