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Legal News

November 21, 2014

Obama's executive actions will defer for three years deportation for people who came to the U.S. as children and for parents of children who are citizens or legal permanent residents. The changes wouldn't give these people, primarily from Mexico and Central America, an easier path to citizenship.

The Department of Homeland Security will streamline the visa process for foreign workers and their employers and give high-skilled workers a more "portable" work authorization, according to a White House fact sheet. DHS also will expand options for foreign entrepreneurs who meet criteria for creating jobs, and for graduates of U.S. universities in science and technology fields.

The administration won't expand the number of H1-B visas for higher-skilled workers important to the technology industry.

Border Security

Anticipating opposition, especially from House Republicans, Obama coupled the deferred deportations with a promise to deport undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of felonies, are members of gangs or pose national security risks. He also said he would devote more resources to border security.

The president's actions will allow almost half of the nation's estimated 11.4 million undocumented immigrants to move out of the shadows of the U.S. workforce. It would increase their leverage to seek wage increases, shift within their workplaces to higher-status jobs with more public contact, and change employers to advance their livelihoods. They'd also be more likely to pay income and Social Security payroll taxes

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