Those brought to U.S. at young age will not be deported, Obama says
Decision comes during tough election fight with Mitt Romney
In a bold move that many see as currying favor with the Hispanic vote in
the U.S., President Obama has declared a dramatic turnaround in his
deportation policy. The administration will shortly declare that it will
stop deporting illegal immigrants who have come to the U.S. at a young
It must be reiterated that the new policy won't grant citizenship to children who came to the United States as illegal immigrants. However, the new rule removes the threat of deportation and grants them the right to work in the United States.
"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," Napolitano said in a conference call with journalists.
"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."
Very importantly, the new policy won't grant citizenship to children who came to the United States as illegal immigrants. However, the new rule removes the threat of deportation and grants them the right to work in the United States.
The 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.
The question arises . what constitutes a "young age" for these many Americans? The Department of Homeland Security says that this applies to those who came to the U.S. 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.
According to a memo, the new policy will apply to individuals who are already in deportation proceedings.
Many see this as a ploy by President Obama to win the Hispanic vote. Obama has a substantial lead over presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney among Hispanic voters. However, criticism from immigration activists over the administration's deportation policies has intensified in recent weeks.
Hispanic voters are seen as essential in the swing states of Florida, Virginia, Colorado and Nevada, among other states.
"It's a medium-risk, high-reward strategy," Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons says. "I think you risk angering people who are upset about immigration, yes. But for a president who's got to win Florida, Nevada, Colorado, it is definitely something that can give the Latino community something to rally around."
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Immigration, deportation, President Obama, campaign battle, swing states, Hispanic vote
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