What is Missing in Obama’s Immigration Plan?

By Huiyu Yin

The US President Barack Obama recently announced his decision to suspend the deportation of nearly 5 million unauthorized immigrants. Besides the political and legal aspects of the debate, Human Rights Watch suggests that the plan is deficient in key respects. It is true that the plan “to keep immigrants and their families from being broken apart by deportation is a strike against arbitrary cruelty”, said by Antonio Ginatta, a US advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. Other abusive practices against immigrants are unaddressed. For instance, the plan did not provide protection against deportation to immediate relatives of young US citizens with deferred deportation status. Human Rights Watch has recently documented how significant numbers of parents of US citizen children – 100,000 in the years 2011 and 2012 – are apprehended, summarily deported and criminalized at the border. The plan is a first step in the right direction, but the need for a more lasting and comprehensive solution remains.