The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin giving 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 a growing Latino electorate that has opposed administration deportation policies.
The administration’s decision will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants.
In a statement this morning, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, said “Our nation’s immigration laws… are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case. Nor are they designed to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language.”
Illegal immigrants will avoid deportation and be eligible for work permits if they arrived in the U.S. before age 16, 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.
The president will deliver remarks about the new policy in in the Rose Garden at 1 p.m. this afternoon.
This is wonderful news. It’s absolutely criminal how the party of Ronald “Amnesty” Reagan has consistently blocked passage of the DREAM Act, and I’m glad to see the Obama administration is willing to step up for those who are simply trying to find a better life in our country.
Cue the whining from conservatives about how illegal immigrants are stealing our jobs and ruining the economy. Oh wait…
In a December 2010 report, the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the November 30th, 2010 version of the DREAM Act would “reduce deficits by about $1.4 billion over the 2011-2020 period” and “increase government revenues by $2.3 billion over the next 10 years.” The same report also notes that the Act “would increase projected deficits by more than $5 billion in at least one of the four consecutive 10-year periods starting in 2021”. (via Wikipedia)