In the State of the Union Address, President Obama called for immigration reform. Unfortunately, the term “immigration reform” has only served as a generic term thrown around on the Congress floor. Proposed reform could have both positive and negative implications on non U.S. citizens. The President called for added security at the border, specifically at the Mexican border. The President has also called for a streamlining of the immigration process to alleviate the burdensome and inexcusable delay in processing visas, which has kept U.S. citizens away from their non U.S. citizen families for extended periods of time. It can take years for an immediate relative to get to the U.S. to live with his or her U.S. citizen spouse.
As President’s often do in State of the Union speeches, the President left out specifics or any policies that he plans on supporting that would the people that are already in the United States with no lawful status. The President’s policy related to the Dream Act seems to suggest that there is some hope for children that were brought to the United State’s without legal status, however, the current policy is simply a band aid on a bullet wound. DACA recipients are not provided legal status and are merely given a temporary reprieve from deportation.
The long and short of the President’s speech leaves us with as many questions as we had before the speech. And that probably won’t change any time soon.