It’s been a long time coming.
President Obama will tonight lay out details of executive action he will take on immigration reform, which is unlikely to be comprehensive but will nonetheless make a change in the status qou caused by the Congress’ failure to take action.
Of course there will be those who will object to anything less than a comprehensive path to citizenship for all 11 million of the people in the country without authorization, just as there will loud objections from those who are angry President Obama is taking any action at all.
The president, according to sources citing information from White House officials, is expected to announce to the country today that he will allow as many as 5 million people to remain in the country without the threat of deportation.
As the time this editorial was written, few “official” details of the president’s executive order, or orders, on immigration were available. What is clear is that the president has for months said he would use executive action in the fall to offer some kind of reprieve to some of the undocumented in the country.
Most political observers believe President Obama will extend deportation reprieves to the parents of American citizens and who have been in the country for at least five years.
This makes sense to us, since it’s likely anyone who has been in the country for five or more years has already established roots in the U.S.
Those who qualify for the special legal status, will be free from the threat of deportation – for how long is not clear- but they will not be eligible for health care benefits or food stamps among other federal benefits.
It seems to us that those covered by the deferral should be able to buy health care insurance if they can afford it.
Just as we believe driver’s licenses for the undocumented will make our streets safer, we believe health care services for the undocumented will help put a stop to the extremely costly over use of hospital emergency rooms as primary care facilities.
All California residents should be allowed to purchase some type of primary care services form local health providers through some kind of insurance plan.
For now, we’ll just have to wait for more details on Obama’s expected announcement on immigration, and hope that it gets the ball rolling on a comprehensive plan to reform immigration and legalizing the status of people now forced to live in the shadows.