News / USA

US to Stop Deporting Some Young Immigrants

President Obama speaks on immigration at the White House Jun 15, 2012President Obama speaks on immigration at the White House Jun 15, 2012
x
President Obama speaks on immigration at the White House Jun 15, 2012
President Obama speaks on immigration at the White House Jun 15, 2012
Kent Klein
WHITE HOUSE - The Obama administration says its new immigration policy could spare as many as 800,000 illegal immigrants in the United States from deportation. The change addresses a concern of influential Hispanic voters in an election year.
 
In the Rose Garden, President Barack Obama announced Friday that the U.S. government will stop deporting young immigrants who entered the country as children and who have since lived within the law.

“I have got a young person who is serving in our military, protecting us and our freedom.  The notion that, in some ways, we would treat them as expendable makes no sense,” Obama said.

The president said the new policy will not lead toward citizenship, but will remove the threat of deportation and allow the immigrants to work legally.

“Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization,” Obama said.

Under the plan, illegal immigrants will not be deported if they are younger than 30 and were brought to the U.S. before they turned 16.  They also must have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned an equivalent diploma, or served in the military.

The initiative also allows those affected to apply for a work permit that will be good for two years and can be renewed with no limits.

Obama is making the move in an election year in which Hispanic voters could influence the outcome of the election in several states where the vote is expected to be close.

Also, the president is scheduled to speak next Friday to the annual conference of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, in Florida.

A public opinion poll, NBC News/Wall Street Journal, taken last month showed that the president holds a big 61% to 27% lead over Republican candidate Mitt Romney among Latinos.

But Hispanic leaders have raised concerns with Mr. Obama over the record number of recent deportations.  The U.S. deported almost 400,000 people in 2011, and is likely to expel slightly more this year.

The initiative achieves some of the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, which Congress voted down in 2010.  The legislation would establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the U.S. illegally but have attended college or served in the military.

The president said he is issuing the temporary order because Congress has not addressed comprehensive reform of the U.S. immigration system.

“There is still time for Congress to pass the DREAM Act this year, because these kids deserve to plan their lives in more than two-year increments.  And we still need to pass comprehensive immigration reform that addresses our 21st century economic and security needs,” Obama said.

Governor Romney said he agrees with Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American who recently proposed a similar immigration policy, that Mr. Obama's plan is not helpful in the long term.

"This is an important matter.  We have to find a long-term solution, but the president's action makes reaching a long-term solution more difficult," Romney said.

Other Republicans have blasted the president’s move as a political stunt.  Republican Congressman Steve King from the Central state of Iowa said in a statement that “Americans should be outraged that President Obama is planning to usurp the Constitutional authority of the United States Congress and grant amnesty by edict to one million illegal aliens.”

You May Like

Russia's 'V-Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

Critics say Soviet-style display of power, nationalism don't recognize tragic scars of warfare that still influence politics, fighting in Ukraine More

Tensions Simmer in Hong Kong in Lead Up to Vote

Many Hong Kong citizen say if the reform plan will be a step back for the pro-democracy movement if passed More

Multimedia Obama Calls for New Commitment to Help Minority Youths Succeed

President introduces My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, foundation supporting better education and job prospects More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
June 18, 2012 8:32 PM
We can't afford to send them home,we can't afford to keep them here either.We just don't know what to do with them. It's not White House's fault, it's not Capital Hills' fault either.

by: Mike from: California
June 15, 2012 8:19 PM
How come the "President" will not enforce the law? What if some other President refuses to enforce anti Jim Crow laws? Are we a nation of democratic laws or a nation of pick-and-choose? This is just another step in an Open-border policy in order to gain the latino vote for the Democratic party. Guess who will pay in the end??
In Response

by: Smarter Mike from: Grad School
July 11, 2012 10:48 AM
Mike, this is more like a president refusing to enforce Jim Crow laws when they were LAW and morally wrong, or refusing to enforce anti-miscegenation laws when they were, again, the LAW but were also wrong. When a law treats one group of people as sub-humans, perhaps it should be ignored. Or hey maybe you were a fan of Jim Crow laws when they were on the books....

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalistsi
X
May 04, 2015 3:32 PM
Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Black Families Use Baltimore Case to Revisit 'Police Talk'

Following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody this month, VOA interviewed black families throughout the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore about how they discuss the case. Over and over, parents pointed to a crucial talk they say every black mother or father has with their children. Victoria Macchi has more on how this conversation is passed down through generations.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video First Surgical Glue Approved for Use Inside Body

While medical adhesives are becoming more common, none had been approved for use inside the body until now. Earlier this year, the first ever biodegradable surgical glue won that approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on the innovation and its journey from academia to market.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Study: One in Six Species Threatened with Extinction

Climate change is transforming the planet. Unless steps are taken to reduce global warming, scientists predict rising seas, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire and floods. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, a new study on species extinction underscores the need to take action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of rising temperatures.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Baltimore Riots Shed Light on City’s Troubled Past

National Guard troops took up positions Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, as authorities tried to restore order after rioting broke out a day earlier. It followed Monday's funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody earlier this month. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs