Immigration

Obama Stays the Course on Border

President Obama is staying the course on the Bush administration’s aggressive border enforcement strategies. The president will expand a $1.1 billion program begun under Bush to check the immigration status of virtually all people booked into local jails over the next four years. The current administration will also continue a "zero-tolerance" program that charges and jails any illegal immigrant caught crossing parts of the U.S.-Mexico border. Construction of a $8 billion "virtual" fence of tower-mounted sensors and cameras along the border is also set to resume. However, the administration has announced one formal change from Bush immigration policy; controversial workplace raids will be limited. Obama has vowed, instead, to focus on employers, smuggling networks, and criminals and illegal immigrants who repeatedly violate the law. This means that overall deportations may decrease, because those are the groups that are harder and costlier to catch.