According to an opinion piece on latimes.com: “When the Obama administration last week announced its intention to review the cases of 300,000 immigrants ensnared in the nation’s deportation process, as well as to institute new guidelines going forward with the goal of distinguishing between those who pose threats to public safety from those who are merely in the country illegally reaction reverberated along well-worn lines. Enforcement hawks denounced the move as amnesty; immigration doves responded warily, worried that it would substitute for more comprehensive efforts to fix the nation’s broken immigration system.”
This is a move to which pro-immigrant advocacy organizations have responded favorably. Since Congress is not addressing this issue in any meaningful way, the administration has decided to prioritize immigration agencies’ enforcement priorities. Although this is not a legalization program and a great deal of discretion will lie with the powers that be, it is a good start and the government is headed in the right direction. The government will review pending deportation cases and hold off on deporting those who do not pose a grave threat, have been convicted of a felony, are repeat offenders etc. It is in essence a reprieve while the administration awaits possible immigration reform.