The situation perhaps gives President Barack Obama a new reason to use his executive powers to bypass a hostile House of Representatives, possibly by expanding his 2012 order that allows thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the US before the age of 16 to avoid deportation and work legally. A new executive order, for example, could expand eligibility to other classes of immigrants, including parents of these so-called Dreamers.
Fifty thousand people – mostly women with small children and unaccompanied alien children (UACs) – have crossed the Rio Grande River in south Texas this year, and another 40,000 are expected by October. The vast majority are from noncontiguous countries such as Honduras and Guatemala, which means US officials can’t just turn them back at the border. Instead, these women and children are piling up in US detention centers and being released on their own recognizance, with a promise to return to immigration court in months or years.