Obama Administration makes progress on immigration reform

Under pressure from both sides of the immigration reform debate, the Obama administration has recently released statements outlining its plan to improve the quality of life for undocumented immigrants and people seeking American citizenship. The administration has been under fire lately for wavering on immigration policies like deportation. However, it now is clearly taking a progressive stance on immigration reform.

On May 6, U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker released a statement saying the current administration is working on new laws that would promote the acquisition of highly skilled immigrants. The administration proposed a clause that gives work visas to spouses of individuals working in the fields of science, technology and engineering as an incentive to live in the US. Because America has drawn out bureaucratic processes to obtain green cards, many immigrants who can contribute in the various science disciplines are opting to acquire citizenship in other countries. The proposed legislation seeks to end this migration of talent. According to Pritzker, frustration is mounting among immigrants, business leaders and the federal government.

“Many are tired of waiting for green cards and leave to work for our competition. The fact is we have to do more to retain and attract top-level talent to the United States and these regulations put us on the path to do it,” Pritzker said in a statement.

On May 8, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan releasted a statement that said the discrimination of undocumented students would not be tolerated. Under federal law, these students have the right to public education from kindergarten to twelfth grade.

“We want to be sure every school leader understands the legal requirements under the Constitution and federal laws, and it is our hope that this update will address some of the misperceptions out there,” Duncan said in a statement. “The message here is clear: let all children who live in your district enroll in your public schools.”