It is possible that by the time this article goes into print, the President will go through with a long-promised executive action allowing millions of undocumented immigrants to remain with their families in the United States.

Although it is not clear which measures will be included, it has been long rumored that the new policy should extend “deferred action” to undocumented parents of U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident children, allowing them to avoid deportation and receive an employment authorization, in a similar fashion done in 2012 for the immigrants brought to the United States as children.

It is also expected that the government will further advance its policy to focus resources on apprehension and removal of recent illegal entrants and immigrants with criminal convictions or posing threat to national security, while other illegal immigrants, especially those with family ties in the United States, should remain a low priority for deportation.

While even a small step like this may bring relief to millions of immigrants across the country, it is undisputed that a more complex and permanent solution, such as a comprehensive immigration reform, is required to fix the U.S. immigration system. At present, given the new political climate after the midterm elections, it is possible that a unilateral action by the President would undermine rather than advance the efforts to work together with Congress on the reform.

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