In anticipation of yesterday’s meeting with President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, the Obama Administration announced policy changes earlier this week designed to make it easier for foreign entrepreneurs to come and live in the U.S. Unsurprisingly, elite technology and business leaders from Silicon Valley reacted positively to the developments.
Meanwhile, during his speech at last week’s NCLR conference, President Obama voiced support for comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act, before noting that he could not do anything to relieve the suffering of undocumented immigrants. Even though he has the power to grant administrative relief to DREAMers and other eligible undocumented workers so that they can be safe from deportation as long as he remains President, Obama has still not taken action to protect all from deportation. In a remarkable and spontaneous response, the audience responded with chants of, “Yes You Can! Yes You Can!” in light knowing well that the President has the authority to make those changes to immigration policy.
The contrast could not be more clear. Just as the President has the authority to delight high-tech leaders by delivering policy changes to help foreign entrepreneurs stay in the nation, he has the authority to delight Latino voters by delivering policy changes that help families stay together, help DREAM-eligible youth stay out of deportation proceedings, and overhaul flawed enforcement programs such as Secure Communities and 287(g). Unfortunately, his “can do” attitude hasn’t yet extended to the key immigration priorities of the Latino community.
For more information, check out this Overview document — it’s a great explanation of the President’s authority regarding immigration policy.