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New Obama policy will spare some from deportation

"Right to Dream" students and supporters block the street outside the federal Metropolitan Detention Center Friday June 15, 2012, in Los Angeles to celebrate the Obama administrations decision to stop deporting younger illegal immigrants. Obama says his plan to stop deporting younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children will make the system "more fair, more efficient and more just." (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

"Right to Dream" students and supporters block the street outside the federal Metropolitan Detention Center Friday June 15, 2012, in Los Angeles to celebrate the Obama administrations decision to stop deporting younger illegal immigrants. Obama says his plan to stop deporting younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children will make the system "more fair, more efficient and more just." (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama eased enforcement of immigration laws Friday, offering a chance for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to stay in the country and work. Immediately embraced by Hispanics, the extraordinary step touched off an election-year confrontation with congressional Republicans.

"Let's be clear, this is not amnesty, this is not immunity, this is not a path to citizenship, this is not a permanent fix," Obama said from the White House Rose Garden. "This is the right thing to do."

The policy change will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the "DREAM Act," congressional legislation that would establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally but who attend college or join the military.

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.

Obama said the change would become effective immediately to "lift the shadow of deportation from these young people."

The 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.

The step, to be carried out by the Department of Homeland Security, comes one week before Obama plans to address the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' annual conference in Orlando, Fla. Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney is to speak to the group on Thursday.

"Many of these young people have already contributed to our country in significant ways," Homeland Security Secretary Janet 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 policy closely tracks a proposal being drafted by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a potential vice presidential running mate for Romney, as an alternative to the DREAM Act, formally the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act.

While many Republican lawmakers decried the Obama administration's move, Rubio offered a tempered response.

"Today's announcement will be welcome news for many of these kids desperate for an answer, but it is a short-term answer to a long-term problem," Rubio said in a statement. "And by once again ignoring the Constitution and going around Congress, this short-term policy will make it harder to find a balanced and responsible long-term one."

The change drew a swift repudiation from Republican lawmakers, who accused Obama of circumventing Congress in an effort to boost his political standing and of favoring illegal immigrants over unemployed U.S. citizens.

"President Obama and his administration once again have put partisan politics and illegal immigrants ahead of the rule of law and the American people," Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, GOP chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement.

Republicans including Romney say they want tighter border security measures before they will consider changes in immigration law. Romney opposes offering legal status to illegal immigrants who attend college but has said he would do so for those who serve in the armed forces.

Praise for the new policy was also swift. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, called the decision "an historic humanitarian moment" and compared it to the decision two decades ago to give political asylum to Cuban refugees fleeing the communist island. "This is at least a reflection of that moment in history."

In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, "Ending deportations of innocent young people who have the potential to drive tomorrow's economy is long overdue, as are many commonsense reforms needed to center our immigration policy around our economic needs."

Midway through his remarks, Obama was interrupted by a reporter from a conservative online publication, Neil Munro of the Daily Caller, who shouted, "Why do you favor foreigners over American workers?" Clearly irritated, Obama said that he was explaining the policy, not looking for an argument, and that the change was the "right thing to do for the American people."

Napolitano said Friday the decision "is well within the framework of our existing laws."

"We should not forget that we are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants," she said. "With respect to these young people, deferred action, the decision I announced today, is simply the right thing to do."

The Obama administration's deportation policies have come under fire, and Latino leaders have raised the subject in private meetings with the president. In 2011, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported a record 396,906 people and is expected to deport about 400,000 this year.

A December poll by the Pew Hispanic Center showed that 59 percent of Latinos disapproved of the president's handling of deportations.

The administration announcement comes ahead of an expected Supreme Court decision on Arizona's tough 2010 immigration law that, among other things, requires police to ask for immigration papers from anyone they stop or arrest and suspect is in the country illegally. The Obama administration has challenged the law.

The exact details of how the program will work, including how much immigrants will have to pay to apply and what proof they will need, still are being worked out.

Administration officials stopped short of calling the change an administrative DREAM Act, but the qualifications track with those laid out in a 2010 version that failed in the Senate after passing in the House. They said comprehensive overhaul of the immigration system remained an administration priority.

Illegal immigrant children won't be eligible to apply for the deportation waiver until they turn 16, but officials said younger children won't be deported, either.

Comments

FordGalaxy 2 years, 1 month ago

Ms Campos has a sign that reads "A RIGHT to Education." Beyond 12th Grade, you don't have a right to education. You can purchase education, but it is not a right. To say that anything beyond 12th grade is a right means that you believe you have a right to a portion of someone else's life, as someone else must take time out of their day to teach you. Same goes for healthcare. If you believe healthcare to be a "right," then you believe that you have a right to time take out of another person's life.

People need to get a better grip on what is a "right" and what is not.

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NewsReader 2 years, 1 month ago

Hey FordGalaxy,

This "RIGHT" to education is right in line with the grossly inept individuals who became eligible to vote in the last election, and their entire philosophy in life can be summed up with entitlement, irresponsibility, and hypocrisy. And you are right about healthcare too.

This poor excuse of a president can't get it done through normal channels just like Obamacare. We have such a legacy of crap to fix when this lunatic is voted out of office.

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Say_that_again 2 years, 1 month ago

What a country! We have the right to an attorney. Thieves and murderers have the right to a lawyer at public expense but we don't have the right to an education or healthcare. I do admire this Christian attitude toward rights!!! Lets protect those that do wrong but, heaven forbid, lets do nothing to help those that want to better themselves and society.

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news2me 2 years, 1 month ago

Show your compassion and Christian attitude, adopt an Illegal Aliens or two to show your support. How do Illegals make for a better society? By adding another welfare class to the Democratic voter pool?

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R 2 years, 1 month ago

Why would we educate thieves and murderers?

Granted we have been, but shouldn't it stop?

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Say_that_again 2 years, 1 month ago

Why do people steal? Could it be that they can't get a job because they lack the education? Of course their are exceptions, like Romney who stole pensions through loopholes in the laws. Did you know that people in jail are encouraged, at taxpayer expense, to pursue additional education? Are you proposing that we withhold education from anyone that we consider might become a thief or murderer? Surely you do not believe the majority of illegal children have become murderers!

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news2me 2 years, 1 month ago

Obama pimping for votes, this just after the Dems have come out to admit that he has a good chance of losing re-election. The change of heart over gay marriage died quickly on the vine, so why should we be suprised.

This latest stunt is no "major change" at all, just the same old nothing. The bright spot is even if Obama gets desperate and does something drastic, anything he does can and will be undone when he leaves office.

Happy weekend!

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NewsReader 2 years, 1 month ago

Well isn't that just grand of our illustrious President? After all, he did say he was "...ready to rule..." did he not? Let's just give our resident criminals a free pass to get elected once again.

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 1 month ago

NewsReader - It was actually Valerie Jarrett who said Obama would be "ready to rule" from day one. He didn't exactly talk back what she said, though.

If you want some glorious quotes by President Obama, try these:

" I do think at a certain point you've made enough money."

"I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

"It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

"Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."

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teelee 2 years, 1 month ago

Anything for a vote and I mean anything!!!!

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R 2 years, 1 month ago

The burning question on my mind is what does the new” illegal but able to work” permit look like?

Since the BIGGEST fight has been about illegal’s NOT having to carry any proof - how is this going to work?

Mr. Obama if you didn’t like E Verify, you should have spoken though legislation in the Senate at the very least…

And I wonder what the DHS will do next when the Supreme Court throws out Obama-care in whole or part?

Michelle, Will you now allow your daughters to date these “permit holders”?

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jjbod1 2 years, 1 month ago

Like I stated in another similar news post. Nov is just around the corner. let just all hope and pray, we can vote this American destroying idiot out of a job. Then after that, we can all move forward for real.

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Say_that_again 2 years, 1 month ago

Another example of racism. To refer to our president in such derogatory terms when his resume proves the opposite is racist!

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm no fan of name calling, as I believe Obama's record is enough to warrant being voted out of office, but c'mon, man. Say_that_again, really? Why can no one voice opposition to Obama without being labeled a racist? I don't see racism in jjbod1's post. Like I said, I'm not a fan of name calling, but name calling does not a racist make.

How about this, this is my rationale for voting against Obama in November:

  • Over $5 Trillion added to the national debt in less than four years (Bush added $4.8 Trillion in eight years)
  • On track to be the first President ever with ZERO net job growth (he's adding government jobs left and right, but the private secotr is not doing fine...speaking of which...)
  • Is so out of touch that he drops lines like "The private sector is doing just fine..." and "I do think at a certain point you've made enough money."
  • Called out George Bush for a "leadership failure" for asking to raise the debt ceiling, yet has raised the debt ceiling three times himself.
  • Referred to a six month stint in the private sector as feeling like time spent "behind enemy lines."

But yeah, I'm sure you'll think I'm racist because I don't blindly support Obama.

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news2me 2 years, 1 month ago

Calling President Obama an Idiot is Racist?

I guess you are a uber Racist, since you have called President Bush out for preceived flaws and failures during his years in office.

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R 2 years, 1 month ago

When did we become the "States of Obama"?

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jack 2 years, 1 month ago

"Under the administration plan, illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 ....."

And how is this to be determined? If they entered illegally, who documented their age at entry? I guess we just have to take their word, right?.

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Say_that_again 2 years, 1 month ago

You are not that stupid! Why do you want others to think you are? For your readers that are that you seem ti think are that stupid, school records can easily demonstrate their enrollment years. Most illegals do not choose home schooling.

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jack 2 years, 1 month ago

For someone whose responses are confined to crying "racism", name calling, and blaming Bush, I wouldn't be tossing around the word "stupid" too freely.

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news2me 2 years, 1 month ago

You used the word stupid, so you must be a RACIST.

Say_that_again?

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Say_that_again 2 years, 1 month ago

I admire your excellent logic! Even more evidence can be found since I also used the word illegal. Must be prejudice against teachers since I used the word school and prejudice against old people since I used the word years. I bet if you really applied your brain, you could find other words I used.

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docgreen1499 2 years, 1 month ago

Just proves that Janet Napolitano is nothing but a "yes man" and that she has really no idea what she is really doing.....come on Nov.

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gwinnettisgreat1 2 years, 1 month ago

If you guys think this is a big deal. Wait until the "Pardon" list comes out after he is voted out in November. It should be a hoot to see who he turns loose from U.S. prisons.

But to the point of the article, in his socialist mind, this is ok, because the rich can afford to pay their fair share and pay for illegals. Fantastic. Bleeding heart liberals smiled yesterday.

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Say_that_again 2 years, 1 month ago

Can't match Bush 1 who pardoned everyone associated with Iran Contra that would have connected him to the scandal, effectively stopping the Iran Contra investigation. To refresh your memory, Iran Contra was when arms were sold to Iran when it was against the law to sell guns to Iran. Oliver North was convicted of this until the Supreme Court overturned his conviction because "Congress gave him immunity".

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