President Obama has announced an executive action granting undocumented immigrants a reprieve from deportation if their children are U.S. citizens. One of the goals is to prevent families from being separated by an immigration court.
The order, however, is limited to parents whose children were already born. Undocumented mothers who give birth Friday are too late. They will still be deportable even though their children will be citizens (unless they already have a child who is also a citizen, or if they themselves were brought to the United States as children by their parents and qualify as "dreamers.")
If the administration had not set this deadline, conceivably it would have given undocumented immigrants a reason for having children in order to qualify for deportation deferrals. In any case, the deadline shows the practical human consequences of a policy that helps some illegal immigrants, but not all.
There's now a world of difference between having conceived 8 1/2 months ago as opposed to 9 1/2 months ago for undocumented parents of U.S. children born in November.
In 2010, the Pew Research Center estimated that approximately 8 percent of children born in the United States that year -- 350,000 kids -- had at least one undocumented parent. That figure suggests that several hundred babies will be born to undocumented parents on Friday.
"I think what it demonstrates is the inherent flaw in a limited and somewhat arbitrary program of administrative relief," said Kimberly Inez McGuire of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.
What's in Wonkbook: 1) Obama delays deportations 2) Opinions: Antitax mania, Republicans, the strong dollar 3) Ferguson decision could come Friday 4) Fed to review banking oversight 5) Aluminum allegations, an unbreakable pill and more
Number of the day: 380,000. That's the number of dental plans that were somehow lumped together with medical plans when the administration announced its total Obamacare enrollments -- enough to inflate the total above 7 million. Alex Wayne for Bloomberg.
The error shows that there are still glitches in the administration's systems for processing enrollments. Margot Sanger-Katz in The New York Times.
Chart of the day:
Most immigrants arriving in the United States are now Asian, rather than Latin American. Ben Casselman in Five Thirty Eight.
1. Top story: Obama issues immigration order
Who's in and who's out:
-- Parents who have been living here for at least five years are in if their children are U.S. citizens.
-- So is a larger group of people brought here as children by their parents who are now here illegally.
-- Other provisions are intended to benefit young engineers and scientists and people who are waiting on applications for permanent legal status. The Washington Post.
-- The details of the order.
-- What Obama said.
-- The official legal memorandum justifying the decision and explaining why parents of dreamers are excluded.
Legal experts agree the president is within his authority. Scholars of all stripes, from Laurence Tribe to Eric Posner, see nothing wrong with the president's decision to use an executive order. Julie Hirschfield Davis in The New York Times.
If Obama's goal was to divide Republicans, it looks like it's working. Republicans are furious. More extreme members will now be less interested in listening to the congressional leadership's measured, responsible agenda, intended to show the party is capable of governing itself and the nation. Robert Costa in The Washington Post.
KRUGMAN: Reform the system, but don't open the borders. Many progressives don't support open borders, because they make a welfare programs more controversial politically. But giving people who are already here a chance to stay is the right thing to do. The New York Times.
GERSON: Confronting a messy, dysfunctional legislative process, Obama just gave up. The result is that any real discussion of comprehensive immigration reform has come off the table, discrediting those conservatives who might have wanted to work with him. The Washington Post.
KLEIN: Republicans need an immigration plan -- any plan. No one knows what Republicans want to do about the immigration issue, since they can't agree among themselves, but they need to show that they really are serious about solving the problem. Vox.
2. Top opinions: Taxes, health care, Republicans and the strong dollar
RAMPELL: Antitax mania has led to convoluted and harmful policy. Lawmakers do everything they can to avoid presenting a policy as a tax, which often means making laws obscure. In other cases, governments rely on fines, fees and forfeitures for revenue, which can be deeply unfair and economically disastrous. The Washington Post.
RIVLIN: Advocates of market-based health care got what they wanted. Someplans are more expensive this year, and some consumers are presented with what might a consuming array of choices. That's how markets work everywhere. The Washington Post.
YGLESIAS: G.O.P. obstructionism has resulted in more liberal policy. Republicans in Congress could have worked with the president on health care, climate change, the budget and finally on immigration, Republicans have refused to negotiate with Obama. The predictable result is that he's turned to executive authority to pursue liberal approaches rather than implementing centrist compromises. Vox.
The dollar shouldn't be the world's reserve currency. Demand for dollars worldwide harms American investment and makes our businesses less competitive with their rivals overseas. Lewis Lehrman and John Mueller in The Wall Street Journal.
3. Ferguson decision could come Friday
Riot police are making a few arrests at demonstrations ahead of the grand jury's decision. At least two people were arrested in Ferguson, Mo. Thursday night. Daniel Wallis for Reuters.
The grand jury includes nine blacks and three whites. There are five women on the panel, and nine of the members must vote to indict. All of them will be largely prohibited from talking about the case after they finish their work. Their decision could be announced as early as Friday. Andrew Harris and Tim Bross for Bloomberg.
Officer Darren Wilson will reportedly resign after the decision is announced. He does not expect to be indicted in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in August, but will leave his post in order to protect his fellow officers. Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz for CNN.
4. Fed to review banking oversight
The central bank is asking whether the pessimists on its staff are being listened to. "The review is focused on whether senior staff are given enough information when making decisions affecting the largest financial firms, including 'whether channels exist for decision makers to be aware of divergent views.' " Ryan Tracy in The Wall Street Journal.
There will be a Senate hearing Friday. New York Fed President William Dudley will testify -- critics say the New York Fed bears particular responsibility for failing to listen to warnings from staff about instability in the financial sector before the crisis. Reuters.
5. In case you missed it
The Senate hauls in Goldman Sachs for a hearing on aluminum. Lawmakers suspect the bank, among others, have been manipulating commodities markets by shuffling metals around from warehouse to warehouse, releasing a 400-age report on the patterns earlier this week. Cheyenne Hopkins and Silla Brush for Bloomberg.
LEVINE: The aluminum conspiracy was pretty silly, but insanely complicated. It seems like no one, from regulators to Goldman traders, actually understood what was happening. In any case, the result was exorbitant charges for aluminum buyers in the Midwest. Bloomberg.
Senators, White House spar over torture report. Democrats in the Senate say the White House is waiting until Republicans take control of Congress, when the Democratic legislators who want to see the report released will no longer be able to pester the administration. Ali Watkins, Ryan Grim, Michael McAuliff and Sabrina Saddiqui in The Huffington Post.
An unbreakable pill aims to prevent painkiller abuse. The FDA has approved a new kind of pill for a powerful hydrocodone medication that is difficult to crush or dissolve as a way of protecting addicts. But some doctors say the drug is still too dangerous. Brady Dennis in The Washington Post.