Fridays are awesome! I'm Carl Azuz for CNN STUDENT NEWS. Ten minutes of current events, zero minutes of commercials. A lot to cover today starting with last night's announcement of a controversial executive action. This is a policy set by the president without the consent of Congress. It can be challenged in court, it can be changed by another president.
The one that President Obama announced last night has to do with immigration. There are more than 11 million people who live in the U.S. illegally. The president's action would allow 5 million of them, mostly the parents of children who were born in the U.S. to stay in the U.S. without the threat of being deported. The action allows them to stay for three years as long as they pass background checks and pay any taxes they owe.
The action is limited, it cannot allow undocumented immigrants to stay permanently. It cannot provide a way for them to become U.S. citizens. It cannot give them access to government benefits or healthcare programs. That would all require Congress.
Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I'm describing is accountability, a common sense middle ground approach. If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you a criminal, you'll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.
Republicans and Democrats agree that U.S. immigration policy needs to be changed.They don't agree on how to do that. Republican and some Democratic lawmakers have urged the president to go through Congress to make changes to immigration law. The White House says it's because the House of Representatives hadn't acted on immigration that the president did.
Before the speech, House Speaker John Boehner said President Obama was going too far.
Instead of working together to fix our broken immigration system, the president says he's acting on his own.
That's just not how a democracy works. The president have said before that he's not king and he's not an emperor. But he's sure acting like one. And he's doing another time when the American people want nothing more than for us to walk together.
White House officials say the president's plan is similar to other actions ordered by other presidents including Republicans, but no executive action has even involved these many people before.