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Obama: Executive orders could expand number of green cards issued

News reports show that national politicians are considering new proposals that would expand the immigration system to accommodate scores of legal permanent residents. The proposed changes are the result of behind-the-scenes negotiations and lobbying, which could result in executive actions that would delay the deportation of those accused of illegal immigration. Hundreds of thousands of green cards could be issued to qualified high-tech workers. Relatives of American citizens and those with existing green cards could also be eligible under the proposed reforms.

Official reports show that scores of Texas residents who have been stuck in the immigration system could soon be freed by the proposed changes, which would be implemented through executive order. The White House is taking steps to assist immigrants even as the legislature is stymied in its attempts at immigration reform. This could be seen as the president overstepping his power, but some politicians say that such action is truly long overdue.

Experts say that the number of family- and employment-based green cards handed out each year could easily double under the provision. Now, those green cards are limited to just 366,000 each year -- and that number must be shared among natives of all other countries. The proposed changes would allow more high-skilled workers to enter the U.S., and it would also permit their family members to obtain gainful employment in some situations.

Immigrants who qualify for adjustment of status should be provided with the resources and information they need to achieve this goal. Expanding green card programs and other initiatives could lead to more fair treatment for those who are seeking employment-based admission into the United States. No matter the political implications, expanding family-based and employment-based immigration options should be considered part of the U.S. humanitarian program.

Source: The Washington Post, "White House considers proposals to sharply increase legal immigration" David Nakamura, Aug. 27, 2014

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