Obama's non-deportation policy for immigrants goes into effect
Illegal immigrants could become eligible for tentative legal status through registration
President Obama's non-deportation policy is set to go into effect this
week. Immigrant advocates are encouraging young immigrants to register
in order to grant more than 1.7 million living here illegally to become
eligible for tentative legal status.
Under new guidelines set forth by the Obama administration, illegal immigrants in job training, or who have enrolled in a GED course are now eligible.
The Obama administration laid out final details this week, including education standards that set a new minimum standard for those seeking citizenship.
Under these new guidelines, illegal immigrants in job training, or who have enrolled in a GED course are now eligible.
The U.S. government begins taking applications today. Immigrant rights groups in addition to members of Congress from both parties who have scheduled legal clinics nationwide to determine qualifications for those who seek to register.
"Our job is to make sure that everyone who's eligible for this program knows about it and applies for it if they feel comfortable after weighing the risks and benefits," executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition Chung-Wha Hong says. "So far, the benefits have kind of outweighed the risks, based on the hundreds and thousands of people coming forward."
Under the new rules, forcible deportation has been halted for illegal immigrants who are not older than 30 who were brought to the U.S. before the age of 16. Those who don't have a major criminal record and can prove they have been in the country studying or in job training.
Those eligible for the policy are known as Dreamers, after the Dream Act, which is legislation that failed to pass Congress but would have granted them a path to citizenship.
It must be stressed that the Obama policy does not offer a path to citizenship but rather "deferred action," a halt to potential deportations. This would allow many people in certain states to obtain driver's licenses or in-state tuition at state schools.
Republicans said it will push hundreds of thousands of new legal workers into an already tough job market, where they will compete with Americans.
In a first, the administration is not requiring in-person interviews for applicants and is accepting affidavits for some requirements. Some say this could lead to the influx of fraudulent applications.
"While potentially millions of illegal immigrants will be permitted to compete with American workers for jobs, there seems to be little if any mechanism in place for vetting fraudulent applications," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith and Sen. Chuck Grassley said in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano.
An estimate from the Migration Policy Institute says that as many as 1.76 million illegal immigrants could be eligible. Homeland Security estimates about 11 million illegal immigrants reside in the U.S.
© 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, registration, Hispanics, Obama
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