So yes, it turns out that President Obama can do something about deportation, the DREAM act, and undocumented students.
President Obama will announce a new immigration policy this morning that will allow some undocumented students to avoid deportation and receive work authorization.
Under the president’s “deferred action” executive order, students in the U.S. who are already in deportation proceedings or those who qualify for the DREAM Act and have yet to come forward to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials, will not be deported and will be allowed to work in the United States.
An estimated 1 million young people could benefit from the deferral. To be eligible, applicants have to be between 15 and 30 years old, live in the U.S. for five years, and maintain continuous U.S. residency. People who have one felony, one serious misdemeanor, or three minor misdemeanors will be ineligible to apply. “Deferred action” will last for two years and can be renewed.
Obama is expected to speak about this new policy later today.
The Associated Press is already using terms like “immunity” and “amnesty”. Republicans are expected to explode in 5…4…3…
[UPDATE] Yep, Malkin and Co. throwing a fit according to Memeorandum. And yes, the downside of executive branch action? This program dies screaming the instant Mitt Romney should take office. Might want to keep this in mind.
[UPDATE 2] More on the announcement from MSNBC:
The Department of Homeland Security said that, effective immediately, the government would no longer seek the deportation of illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, and would allow them to apply for work permits if they meet certain criteria.
“Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in a statement Friday.
A senior administration official said in a conference call with reporters that as many as 800,000 undocumented immigrants stand to benefit from this change. Napolitano said that the shift represented neither immunity nor amnesty — buzzwords for conservatives who oppose illegal immigration — but instead represented an instance of “prosecutorial discretion” in which the government had re-evaluated its priorities in enforcing the law.
Echoing the comments of several in this thread, “Your move, Mittens”.