Obama to fix US's 'broken' immigration system, lakhs of Indian immigrants to benefit
Washington: US President Barack Obama has opted for Facebook as a platform to inform Americans about his executive actions on fixing the country's "broken" immigration system.
The executive actions, to be announced on Thursday, are expected to benefit millions of the estimated 11 million undocumented workers.
According to Pew Research Center, those from neighbouring Mexico are to benefit the most as they account for the maximum number of illegal immigrants in the US.
There are an estimated 4,50,000 illegal immigrants from India.
"Everybody agrees our immigration system is broken," Obama said in a video posted yesterday.
"Unfortunately, Washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long. What I am going to be laying out are the things I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system work better, even as I continue to work with Congress," he said.
The White House defended its decision to opt for Facebook to inform people about the coming announcement.
"I think this was an opportunity for us to reach hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.
He said it was "pretty effective" of the president communicating with the American public about his intention to try to take the steps that he believes are necessary to fix as much of the broken immigration system as possible.
Lawmakers and those familiar with the President's executive actions said the immigration reform would benefit nearly five million undocumented workers.
"There is a bipartisan proposal that has already passed the Senate that we've been waiting for more than a year for House Republicans to allow to come up for a vote. We're confident that if that legislation were voted on in the House of Representatives, it would pass with bipartisan support," Earnest said.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid said Obama's executive actions will give illegal immigrants a line to come forward, be recognized, and get in the system.
"It does not and cannot give them green cards of put them on a path to citizenship. Only Congress can and must finish the job by overhauling and rewriting immigration law. Executive action is not a substitute for legislation," Reid said.
The Republicans described this as a unilateral action. "I believe his unilateral action, which is illegal and unconstitutional, and will deeply harm our prospects for immigration reform. It will be deeply harmful to our nation's tradition of the rule of law and deeply harmful to the future of our democracy," Senator John Cornyn said.
The president seems intent on provoking a constitutional crisis by adopting policies that he previously said were illegal," he said.