Obama announces major immigration changes

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

Republican lawmakers in the “legislative” Congress think the President stepped beyond his “executive” authority by changing the rules.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama gave a major speech outlining his plans to shield 5 million immigrants, by changing the way law enforcement deals with them.

Legal citizens are either born here or complete an application process called “naturalization”, which can take up to 25 years. To avoid the wait, over 11 million people have snuck past the border illegally. Law enforcement is supposed to deport them, which means sending them back to their home country. Under Obama’s plan, illegal immigrants who are the parents of legal residents get a 3-year grace period, while those with a criminal record would be sent home packing ASAP.

Republican lawmakers, who recently took control of Congress in the 2014 Midterm Elections, believe Obama doesn’t have the right to make that decision. Why? Well, the USA’s government is split into a three-branch system of checks and balances, where Congress leads the lawmaking “legislative” branch, the President runs the law enforcing “executive” branch, and the Supreme Court judges laws in the “judicial” branch. Congress believes Obama is stepping into their lawmaking territory, while Obama says he’s just telling law enforcement to manage their efforts differently.

Featured image courtesy of The White House. Image of Capitol Building courtesy of Martin Falbisoner on Flickr.