Obama makes election-year change in deportation policy
By Jonathan Easley and Jordy Yager – 06/15/12 10:03 AM ET
The Obama administration announced Friday it will stop deporting illegal immigrants who come to the country at a young age.
The politically charged decision comes as Obama faces a tough reelection fight against Republican Mitt Romney, with Hispanic voters in swing states seen as a key bloc.
The change in policy could allow as many as 800,000 immigrants who came to the United States illegally not only to remain in the country without fear of being deported, but to work legally, according to a senior administration official speaking to reporters Friday.
Obama is set to make a statement at 1:15 p.m. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the new policy Friday morning.
“Young people who were brought to the United States through no fault of their own as children, who meet several key criteria, will no longer be removed from the country or entered into removal proceedings,” said Napolitano in a conference call with reporters on Friday morning.
“This grant of deferred action is not immunity, it is not amnesty, it is an exercise of discretion so that these young people are not in the removal system,” she said. “It will help us continue to streamline immigration enforcement, ensure that resources are not spent pursuing the removal of low priority cases involving productive young people.”
The new policy will not grant citizenship to children who came to the United States as illegal immigrants, but will remove the threat of deportation and grant them the right to work in the United States.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the policy change will apply to those who came to the United States before they were 16 and who are younger than 30 if they have lived here for five years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or served in the military.
A memo from Napolitano ordering the “prosecutorial discretion with respect to individuals who came to the United States as children” argued that those covered by the order “only know this country as home.” It said these people “lacked the intent to violate the law.”
The new policy will apply to individuals who are already in deportation proceedings, the memo said.
The policy change will accomplish portions of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, legislation that has stalled in Congress amid Republican opposition.
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I would ask just exactly where are the congressional republicans, but that would be utterly pointless given that those spineless wonders have been pretty much AWOL for the last eighteen months.
I really do not see that changing – not even for something as assinine as this.
Our country as being transformed into a dictatorship in broad daylight, right in front of God and everybody, and the sheeple do nothing.
And what is even worse, the government body charged with reigning in the power of the executive branch, the United States Congress, has apparently abdicated its oversight responsibilities.
(h/t: Matt Drudge)
H/t also our Grouchy & moxielouise!