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Obama Passes Policy to Stop Deporting (Some) Undocumented Immigrants

The new policy does not grant citizenship but allows deportation to be deferred for undocumented immigrants under 30 who came to the U.S. before they turned 16 and have lived here for five years with no criminal record.

With the passing of a new federal immigration policy, an estimated 800,000 undocumented immigrants nationwide will be able to legally work in the U.S. and avoid deportation.

According to the New York Times, the new policy was announced and made immediately effective Friday by the Obama administration and is similar to .

But unlike the DREAM Act, Obama’s new policy does not grant citizenship. Instead, it allows undocumented immigrants under 30 who arrived in the U.S. before they turned 16 and have lived here for five years with no criminal record to obtain work permits and defer deportation. To be eligible, the undocumented immigrants must also have earned a high school diploma, served in the military or stayed in school.

According to the New York Times report, this new action will allow younger undocumented immigrants to apply for a “deferred action” to provide a temporary, two-year relief from deportation. The deferment period may be extended.

Department of Homeland Security officials told media that the policy’s targeted population —young, educated and law abiding — posed little threat.

"Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the New York Times. "But they 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. Discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here."

The Department of Homeland Security said it would continue to focus its enforcement on those who pose a threat to national security and public safety.

Obama’s controversial plan is sure to draw national criticism. However, many in the Bay Area, which is home to a large immigrant population, have lobbied for immigration reform in the past and supported previous drafts of the DREAM Act, which was shot down by Congress in 2010.

Many communities, , supported the California DREAM Act, which .

The Asian Law Caucus, a San Francisco-based Asian American civil rights organization, and other groups throughout the state applauded the U.S. government for its new policy.

"In the coming weeks and months, we look forward to working with DREAMers and their families to ensure that they receive the full benefits of this historic opportunity, and encourage them to reach out to our organizations for support," said Hyeon-Ju Rho, executive director of the Asian Law Caucus, in a press release.

"Millions of immigrants have helped build the United States into the successful nation it is today," added Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director of the Los Angeles-based Asian Pacific American Legal Center. "This relief will give young immigrants their chance to give back and contribute to America."

However, Obama’s new plan may only be temporary.

Friday’s action was made as an executive order and did not require legislation, the New York Times reports. Due to it being a matter of executive power, the action could be reversed by a future administration.

Since it does not grant undocumented immigrants permanent lawful status and because it could be overturned, officials told the New York Times that it would be up to individuals whether or not to come forward and seek the new immigration services.

What do you think about Obama’s new plan? Should the government allow young undocumented immigrants full lawful status instead of “deferred action”? Or is the government too lenient in its immigration policies?

Tell us in the comments section below.

Nadja Adolf August 27, 2012 at 09:49 PM
OK. We are not meeting Renae's emotional needs by appreciating how much she "gives" and "cares for others." We are supposed to provide her with adulation for adopting two daughter "out of the system." I pray to God that she did not spend their childhoods telling them that. She stereotypes, and then demands others not stereotype. Projection. Her inability to understand the emotional impact of her remarks in the discussion on Roe v Wade - remarks directed directly at you - shows a lack of empathy. I suggest that after these analyses that we simply discuss matters without responding to her, period. She will go elsewhere in search of recognition and reassurance regarding her self image.
Nadja Adolf August 27, 2012 at 09:52 PM
I will respond to Renae's questioning what sort of Muslim I am. I'm the kind that pets dogs and considers every living creature, its sweat, saliva, and tears to be pure. (That doesn't mean that all animals are halal to eat.) Look it up.
Pleasanton Mom August 27, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Nadja: You are brilliant! Thank you for your posts that educate many of us (myself included). You are exactly what this discussion needed.
Nadja Adolf August 27, 2012 at 11:09 PM
And what is that, Jessica? The fact that I am sick and tired of supporting the families of people who aren't even supposed to be in this country? Or having to straighten out problems that result when these "poor immigrants" use my social security number and create a mess? I mean, how unreasonable of me to be sick and tired of subsidizing people who come here for freebies and commit crimes in order to exploit the system. I'm not the only one. I know a woman who has had to take several days off of work because the state quits sending her her child support since she is allegedly on welfare. In each case it has been because someone has applied for welfare using her social security number.
Nadja Adolf August 27, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Here's the thing. The "Bwana Sahib" mentality thinks that the poor and unfortunate should always receive "help" from other people; however, the "Bwana Sahib" thinks that other people are selfish and need to sacrifice to help the poor and unfortunate while the "Bwana Sahib" should not be inconvenienced, let alone make sacrifices, because the "Bwana Sahib" is enlightened. In other words, most liberals want to help other people with someone else's money. They don't tend to give much to charities, either, if you can believe the various studies on the matter.

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