By Debbie Gregory.
As a presidential candidate, Barrack Obama pledged that, if elected, he would pass immigration reforms. Recently, the Obama administration has made a change to the nation’s immigration system. This new administrative change will make it possible for certain relatives of active and former military service members, who are living in the U.S. illegally, to remain in the country.
The directive, issued in a nine page memorandum on Nov. 15, gives U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials the power to allow immigrant spouses, children and parents of current military and Veterans to stay in the country and apply for legal residency in the U.S.
President Obama has made several minor changes to immigration policy. Early in his presidency, he instructed government agencies to use discretion to find and deport only the most serious criminals. In 2012, the President decreed offering younger illegal immigrants living in the country, a reprieve from deportation, and the ability to obtain work permits for at least two years. The earlier immigration changes were received with mixed reviews.
The new policy is intended to relieve tensions for military families. This change in policy is designed to allow special exceptions for illegal immigrants that are part of military families, removing the related stress. It is believed that thousands of military personnel have family members that are living in the country illegally. The thought of a spouse, child or parent getting deported would weigh heavily on the affected service member’s minds.
Department of Defense spokesman, James Swartout, said that the military appreciates the clarification on how immigrant family members of service members are to be treated.
Some people may oppose this change, siting the need to tighten immigration laws. But this particular change affects those who serve and have served this country. These men and women were sent overseas, to foreign lands, in support of their service. After their service, these heroes deserve every right and chance to be happy for the remainder of their lives, with their families by their side.