Immigration law is once again in the news, after President Obama issued an executive order in November protecting some undocumented immigrants to the U.S. from deportation. As we discussed in our Nov. 26 post, the rule prevents people who were brought to this country without documentation as children from being deported. Parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents will also be protected.
The executive order will create a legal status for people in these positions — if they remain law. Lawmakers in the House passed a spending bill earlier in January that included an amendment to stop the order.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that around 253,000 people in Florida would be affected by these new rules. Because of their current status, they are unable to get a job or a driver’s license. They must live with the constant fear of being discovered by authorities and possibly removed from the country.
Many of the undocumented residents of Florida live in Miami-Dade and other parts of South Florida, such as Broward County and Palm Beach. Nationally, around 5.2 million people could be affected by the outcome of this political debate.
The majority of them are longtime residents. The Migration Policy Institute reports that 75 percent of people illegally brought to the U.S. as children, or who have a son or daughter in this country legally, have been in the U.S. for more than five years. They have set down roots here; MPI says that 44 percent of them own their home.