Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, raised concerns that the President's action would negatively impact Congress' ability to pass long-term immigration reform.
“Immigration reform is a highly charged issue that requires deliberate and constructive bipartisan dialogue,” Sweeney said in a statement. “We have worked vigorously with both parties to move legislation forward to the benefit of our membership and our workforce. We hope that the debate over process will not derail progress on common sense immigration reform measures in the next Congress.”
Among the major changes:
Five million undocumented immigrants will be protected from deportation. They will not receive green cards, but they will be able to live in the US, get a work permit and a Social Security number. Obama's plan also provides more protections for young undocumented immigrants.
The new plan also allows foreign workers trained in STEM professions to enter and stay in the US. Also, spouses of foreign workers will be able to get their own jobs.
Interior enforcement of immigration laws will focus on individuals who pose a threat to national security, people convicted of serious crimes and gang members. Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security will refocus enforcement efforts on the southwest border with Mexico.