Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Immigration policy change to protect children/youth

This report hit the news last Friday.  When I read it, I thought of all of the children and youth we know who will be protected by this sensible policy change.  What do you think?

U.S. Will Give Immunity to Some Young Illegal Migrants

The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of an influential Latino electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies.

The policy change, described to The Associated Press by two senior administration officials, will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, a long-sought but never enacted plan to establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally but who have attended college or served in the military.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was to announce the new policy Friday, one week before President Barack Obama plans to address the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' annual conference in Orlando, Fla. Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney is scheduled to speak to the group on Thursday.

Obama planned to discuss the new policy Friday afternoon from the White House Rose Garden.

Under the administration plan, illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed. The officials who described the plan spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss it in advance of the official announcement.

The policy will not lead toward citizenship but will remove the threat of deportation and grant the ability to work legally, leaving eligible immigrants able to remain in the United States for extended periods. It tracks closely to a proposal offered by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida as an alternative to the DREAM Act.

"Many of these young people have already contributed to our country in significant ways," Napolitano wrote in a memorandum describing the administration's action. "Prosecutorial discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here."

The extraordinary move comes in an election year in which the Hispanic vote could be critical in swing states like Colorado, Nevada and Florida. While Obama enjoys support from a majority of Hispanic voters, Latino enthusiasm for the president has been tempered by the slow economic recovery, his inability to win congressional support for a broad overhaul of immigration laws and by his administration's aggressive deportation policy. Activists opposing his deportation policies last week mounted a hunger strike at an Obama campaign office in Denver, and other protests were planned for this weekend.

The change is likely to cause an outcry from congressional Republicans, who are sure to perceive Obama's actions as an end run around them.

To read the entire report click here


Anonymous said...

I say close the border first.

Larry James said...

Few want to acknowledge it, but the Obama Administration has overseen almost 500,000 deportations and has released more funding for border security (boots on the ground, technology and physical barriers) than any Administration in history. The effort is being made to secure the S. border. Now it is time for the next step. What is really needed is comprehensive reform, including the DREAM Act. Where is Congress when you need it?

Anonymous said...

Good First Step. But we need the real thing: the actual Dream Act. Of course, our election year, do NOTHING Congress is never going to get that done.

So ... better half a loaf ...

Charme Robarts said...

This policy remove reminds us things can change. See my blog post today for more.

Anonymous said...

Larry, wasn't the Dream Act rejected by Congress a couple of years ago?

It makes me uneasy when the President takes on himself to declare laws without going through the process. In fact, he said last year that he didn't have the power to give amnesty to children. Make no mistake, this is backdoor amnesty.

Why aren't the parents sent back?

This man must be stopped by not electing him for a second term. I have confidence he won't be. He has nothing to run on, that's why he talks about the war on women, gay marriage and amnesty.

He wants to make us another Europe-- how is that working out?

Anonymous said...

This is not amnesty. He does not have that authority. This is not a path to citizenship. He does not have that authority. This is just saying that, if you meet these criteria, we are not going to use scarce resources to deport you - today. No promises about tomorrow. That authority he has.