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Even with immigration reform stalled, immigrants are winning

Our blog has talked quite extensively about the overhaul of the immigration system that President Obama has been working so hard to get to come to fruition. While things appear to be stalled, despite a comprehensive reform passing the Senate, immigrants are making small wins. For example, immigrants in West Chester and across the country are seeing increased victories during removal proceedings. Instead of the government always having the upper hand before an immigration judge, nearly half of immigrants in removal proceedings are winning their cases.

It is true that Obama does not have the best reputation within the pro-immigrant communities. From the failure in immigration reform to the nearly 2 million people the administration has removed, immigration supporters are getting fed up. At the same time, however, many Republicans have accused Obama of being soft on immigrants, especially those who are living in the country without legal permission.

It is unknown whether the large-scale reform that Obama has promised will ever happen, but he is certainly using his power to help immigrants. In 2012, for example, he created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. This program is designed to grant young immigrants temporary stays and work permits. Moreover, even earlier, he told immigration officials to use greater discretion when it came to immigrants without legal visas. Their focus was to be on immigrants who were threats to national and public security.

Are these programs sufficient for the immigrant community? No, of course not, but are they small wins that should be celebrated? Certainly.

Source: The Associated Press, “Report: Gov’t success in immigration court drops,” Alicia A. Caldwell, Feb. 13, 2014

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