Obama Administration Plans To End Deportation Of Young Illegal Immigrants

The big news today is an announcement by the Obama administration that it intends to stop deporting young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Because the DREAM Act (a bill designed to give a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants) is stalled in congress, the Obama administration moves ahead, enacting its executive power to grant work permits and to extend immunity to illegal immigrants who are now under 30 and were brought to the United States before their 16th birthday. Immigrants who fall into this category can apply for 2-year work permits with the ability to renew.

While the measures will not make current undocumented immigrants into citizens, it removes the threat of deportation and grants them the ability to work here legally, enabling them to stay for long periods of time. It is unclear, however, what happens to the young people after they turn 30, a concern raised by Huffington Post reporter Amanda Terkel, who tweeted, “So, DREAMers younger than 30 can apply for 2-yr work permit and keep renewing. What happens when they hit 30? Deported?

Republicans are already calling this a political move in an election year. They are correct. There’s no question it’s political, but it also happens to be the right thing to do morally and it is consistent with Obama’s promises during the 2008 campaign season. If Republicans are going to complain that this was done solely on political grounds then they must also explain why it isn’t a good idea.


Human Rights

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