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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs