From the Latin American Advisor:
Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a new immigration policy that allows authorities to use prosecutorial discretion in determining deportations, allowing "many undocumented immigrants without criminal records to stay in the United States." The announcement comes on the heels of protests targeting the Secure Communities program, which activists argue was being used improperly to deport minor offenders. Meanwhile, new reports indicate that illegal immigration has declined significantly over the past several years. How is the immigration debate changing in the United States and what does the new policy mean for that debate? How is it likely to play out in the presidential race? What will be the economic consequences of a decline in immigration? From Louis DeSipio, associate professor of political science and chair of Chicano/Latino studies at University of California Irvine: "The policy changes implemented by the Obama administration to reduce deportation risks for young adult unauthorized migrants without criminal records reflect a long-term failure of immigration policymaking. For the past decade, Congress has looked unsuccessfully for the compromises necessary to reform immigration. Part of any comprehensive reform is legalization. This need for legalization, however, has prevented any serious Congressional debate about comprehensive immigration reform since 2008. Through these policy changes, the Obama administration has established a path for young-adult unauthorized immigrants to gain temporary legal status and, upon additional application, work eligibility in the United States. The status would be administratively granted and could be withdrawn at any time...

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