Obama administration to stop deporting younger illegal immigrants

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WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of an influential Latino electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies.

The policy change, described to The Associated Press by two senior administration officials, will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, a long-sought but never enacted plan to establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally but who have attended college or served in the military.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was to announce the new policy Friday, one week before President Barack Obama plans to address the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials’ annual conference in Orlando, Fla. Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney is scheduled to speak to the group on Thursday.

Under the administration plan, illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed. The officials who described the plan spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss it in advance of the official announcement.

The policy will not lead toward citizenship but will remove the threat of deportation and grant the ability to work legally, leaving eligible immigrants able to remain in the United States for extended periods.

“Many of these young people have already contributed to our country in significant ways,” Napolitano wrote in a memorandum describing the administration’s action. “Prosecutorial discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here.”

The extraordinary move comes in an election year in which the Hispanic vote could be critical in swing states like Colorado, Nevada and Florida. While Obama enjoys support from a majority of Hispanic voters, Latino enthusiasm for the president has been tempered by the slow economic recovery, his inability to win congressional support for a broad overhaul of immigration laws and by his administration’s aggressive deportation policy. Activists opposing his deportation policies last week mounted a hunger strike at an Obama campaign office in Denver, and other protests were planned for this weekend.

The change is likely to cause an outcry from congressional Republicans, who are sure to perceive Obama’s actions as an end run around them. Republicans already have complained that previous administration uses of prosecutorial discretion in deportations amount to back-door amnesty. Romney and many Republican lawmakers want tighter border security measures before considering changes in immigration law. Romney opposes offering legal status to illegal immigrants who attend college but has said he would do so for those who serve in the armed forces.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last month found Obama leading Romney among Hispanic voters 61 percent to 27 percent. But his administration’s deportation policies have come under fire, and Latino leaders have raised the subject in private meetings with the president. In 2011, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported a record 396,906 people and is expected to deport about 400,000 this year.

A December poll by the Pew Hispanic Center showed that 59 percent of Latinos disapproved of the president’s handling of deportations.

The changes come a year after the administration announced plans to focus on deporting serious criminals, immigrants who pose threats to public safety and national security, and serious immigration law violators.

One of the officials said the latest policy change is just another step in the administration’s evolving approach to immigration.

Under the plan, immigrants whose deportation cases are pending in immigration court will have to prove their eligibility for a reprieve to ICE, which will begin dealing with such cases in 60 days. Any immigrant who already has a deportation order and those who never have been encountered by immigration authorities will deal with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The exact details of how the program will work, including how much immigrants will have to pay to apply and what proof they will need, still are being worked out.

In making it harder to deport, the Obama administration is in essence employing the same eligibility requirements spelled out in the proposed DREAM Act.

The administration officials stopped short of calling the change an administrative DREAM Act — the name is an acronym for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors — but the qualifications meet those laid out in a 2010 version that failed in the Senate after passing in the House. They said the DREAM Act, in some form, and comprehensive overhaul of the immigration system remained an administration priority.

Illegal immigrant children won’t be eligible to apply for the deportation waiver until they turn 16, but the officials said younger children won’t be deported either.

Last year, Napolitano announced plans to review about 300,000 pending deportation cases and indefinitely suspend those that didn’t meet department priorities. So far, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has reviewed more than 232,000 cases and decided to stop working on about 20,000. About 4,000 of those 20,000 have opted to keep fighting in court to stay in the United States legally. For the people who opted to close their cases, work permits are not guaranteed.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 181

skyhook1fl writes:

Votes!

cozyboy writes:

Anything to get those votes from Latinos in November. Is this what's called an executive order? I'm not a big Romney supporter but I would never vote for this lone wolf named Barrack Hussein Obama. (um um um!!)

flfish writes:

ugh, this guy can not be voted out soon enough!

beerbong writes:

Never heard of anything so s----- in my life. Enough is enough. Immigration has taken over our lives. Close all the borders, deport all illegals, And wait ten years and give the system time to clean it's self. before letting any body in this country to stay more than two weeks. The BS that is going on now is taking this country DOWN. Lets fix it. Before it's too late.

AmericasTrueRecoveryBeginsIn2016 writes:

Bypassing Congress and breaking the law to pander to a specific ethnic group for votes.

Yet another reason that Obama doesn't deserve a second term in office.

If this was a Republican president pulling a stunt like this, the liberals would be screaming bloody murder at the top of their lungs, calling for impeachment or worse.

Watch how many of those same people will hypocritically try to defend this move by Obama.

It should be entertaining, to say the least.

Stay tuned...

RichMKing writes:

Will they be issued special "illegal voter cards"as well?Will they be told they must vote democrat to remain on the "you get free stuff from hard working Americans"list?Will anyone in the democrat party grow a man sized set and call this what it is?democrat voter plantation growth!obama just lost the election in a land slide.

swampfox writes:

If I were a union worker, I'd be upset! We need strong federal leadership here. As we see,gavernors like Rick Scott can't hold our farmers responsible because states like California would bring food to market cheaper than us. At the same time, we can't force South American countries or Mexico to raise there labor standards. A conundrum.

swfl_ff writes:

Just remember the old saying: "the Democrats want the votes and the Republicans want the cheap labor".

No one is serious enough to have the political will to address our immigration problems.

mangy_coon writes:

Once an idiot, always an idiot. What can ya expect.

Ruger writes:

Age discrimination of democrat voters, isn't this forbidden?

http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/discrimi...

The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Shark88 writes:

Of course hispanics support democrats...the party of entitlements, bigger gov't, & free handouts to the non-motivated, lazy, underachievers.

He will lose by at least 10% in Nov. Won't be that close.

1962 writes:

This is disgusting! This is step 2 in ruining the country, step 1 mariel boat lift!

TheyPavedParadise2 writes:

Obama and Coletta, cut from the same cloth. Not what the people want, but whatever it takes to get elected.

Ruger writes:

in response to 1962:

This is disgusting! This is step 2 in ruining the country, step 1 mariel boat lift!

I doubt the media will even mention that Obama is by-passing congress(again) with this move. This is a move dictators around the world will be proud of.

How about jobs for American citizens before Amnesty for 800,000 illegal aliens??

Silent1nomore writes:

First the Gay marriage statement to get votes, now this!

Even my ultra liberal sister says, "Obama.... don't worry, there is no way I can vote for him again! He is a "national embarrassment!"

Quietcat writes:

Now it's official- this country is finished.

KennyR (Inactive) writes:

Dictator and Chief! He may as well dissolved Congress. Does this mean the next Republican President can issue a Executive Order making abortions illegal?

Bramble writes:

The president is violating his oath to uphold the laws and constitution of the United States. Congress has the authority and should act on this official malfeasance.

dmarko326 writes:

what an anti-unconstitutional thing to say!

cozyboy writes:

in response to Patriot_1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

ILLEGALLY that is. What is it about that word that you don't comprehend? It's a slap in the face to all the millions that came here LEGALLY!

lb5361 writes:

BAM! That was the sound of head's exploding over at FoxNews! KERBLAM! And there goes El Rushbo too!

Correction: this is NOT an Executive Order low information voters who post here. It is a directive from DHS. Put that in your constitutional pipe and smoke it!

Obama 2012!

amuser writes:

What I love is, no one remembers the Mexicans were on this land WAY before it became the United States of America. Nice to see everyone here is on the same page though. Agreement is key!

Independent writes:

Will Eric Holder and the Justice Department sue the President in court to halt his illegal act?

elnuestros writes:

in response to beerbong:

Never heard of anything so s----- in my life. Enough is enough. Immigration has taken over our lives. Close all the borders, deport all illegals, And wait ten years and give the system time to clean it's self. before letting any body in this country to stay more than two weeks. The BS that is going on now is taking this country DOWN. Lets fix it. Before it's too late.

By all means, let us let someone named beerbong guide us through the thorny policy issues of the day.

Wonder where his IQ falls on the Beavis-to-Butthead Scale.

Quietcat writes:

in response to amuser:

What I love is, no one remembers the Mexicans were on this land WAY before it became the United States of America. Nice to see everyone here is on the same page though. Agreement is key!

So, because Mexicans lived in parts of the US prior to white European settlement we shouldn't be allowed to enforce our laws? That is really bizarre logic. Tell me, how far back does the statute of limitations go on "occupied" lands? Careful, think before you answer.

Ruger writes:

in response to amuser:

What I love is, no one remembers the Mexicans were on this land WAY before it became the United States of America. Nice to see everyone here is on the same page though. Agreement is key!

Mexicans are from Spain, are they part of Europe?

NeezDutz writes:

in response to lb5361:

BAM! That was the sound of head's exploding over at FoxNews! KERBLAM! And there goes El Rushbo too!

Correction: this is NOT an Executive Order low information voters who post here. It is a directive from DHS. Put that in your constitutional pipe and smoke it!

Obama 2012!

Interesting comment. Not that it makes sense, just interesting.
So anyone who thinks this is not a good idea...their head would explode?
You see, the person you support is suggesting that people who are currently committing a felony, legal status in to this country.
As well as introducing 800,000 people into our dieing economy. Yes Obama 2012.

When it took my own mother who was coming here legally, from England, years to get her status.

zakkdogg writes:

At last, some common sense in immigration policy. Unlike the fascists in Arizona!!!

bh1799 writes:

YOU ALL SEEM TO FORGET THIS IS WHAT YOUR BUDDY RICK PERRY WANTED TO DO. But that was okay with you... bc he's on your side - a Republican. How 2 faced can you get??

Notthesame writes:

Not being deported does not give them legal status people, they just get to stay a bit longer to commit more crimes, and this directive isnt just for mexicans, its for anyone who was brought here illegally as a child.

JunkYardDog_1 (Inactive) writes:

What a pimping piece of work Obama is.

Quietcat writes:

in response to bh1799:

YOU ALL SEEM TO FORGET THIS IS WHAT YOUR BUDDY RICK PERRY WANTED TO DO. But that was okay with you... bc he's on your side - a Republican. How 2 faced can you get??

That is the main reason why I didn't support him. Just because I want our laws to be enforced doesn't make me "heartless". It's also one of the reasons I had significant problems with G.W.Bush. Either we have laws that apply to everyone or to no one. I'm sorry if your parents were lawbreakers and you are "innocent", but if we start making exceptions for this what's next? Why should anyone go through the trouble and expense of coming here legally? Come to think of it, why have laws at all?

BigOrangeKitty writes:

Can he do this with no input from Congress?

HAL9000 writes:

in response to amuser:

What I love is, no one remembers the Mexicans were on this land WAY before it became the United States of America. Nice to see everyone here is on the same page though. Agreement is key!

Here's a new spin on "The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo":

http://www.mombu.com/culture/mexican-...

KennyR (Inactive) writes:

If you don't agree with the current immigration policies there are proper channels to change them. Last time I checked we where a Representative Republic, if enough of us agree they would be changed. The left have giving us a Dictator.

I really don't want to vote for Romney in Nov, but Obama & Eric Holder are the most corrupt politicians I've ever seen! There would be riots in the streets if they where Republicans.

Nina6520 writes:

in response to Notthesame:

Not being deported does not give them legal status people, they just get to stay a bit longer to commit more crimes, and this directive isnt just for mexicans, its for anyone who was brought here illegally as a child.

OMG, how ignorant can you be? Of course they'll have legal status when they are granted work permits. And to benefit, they must be of good character. If they commit crimes, they will not be eligible. No one ever said this was just for Mexicans.

You clearly did not understand this article. Are you able to comprehend the written word at all?

lb5361 writes:

in response to BigOrangeKitty:

Can he do this with no input from Congress?

Yes he can! It is a directive from the Dept. of Homeland Security and is exactly what Gov. Perry from Texas proposed while running for President. Pay attention now. During one of GOP primary debates, Perry advocated for this very policy...dreamers...where Mittens made his famous statement about "make things so tough they will self deport".

Oh my!
Obama 2012

Nina6520 writes:

in response to zakkdogg:

At last, some common sense in immigration policy. Unlike the fascists in Arizona!!!

Correct. America needs young people who are educated and of good character to step into the work force and help fix the economy. Most of those eligible have been here most of their lives and love this country.

Immigration reform is coming. This is the beginning, and all the whining by those who do not understand why it is needed will not change that.

Even the most ignorant of the posters on here must know that all the illegals will never be deported, even without this move. So, what alternatives do you suggest?

None? Thought so.

wentfishn writes:

in response to arrow:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The embarrassment are the people that voted for him?

straighttalkinnaples writes:

The new policy allows illegal immigrants immunity from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, and have been in the country for at least five continuous years.

How will the government possibly know how long young children and their illegal alien parents have been in the country? Of course, they'll depend on what the parents say.

This allows newly arriving illegal aliens who bring their children across the border a new avenue to avoid deportation, because they'll ensure their children meet Obama's policy requirements?

This immigration policy change was clearly not well thought out.

beerbong writes:

in response to elnuestros:

By all means, let us let someone named beerbong guide us through the thorny policy issues of the day.

Wonder where his IQ falls on the Beavis-to-Butthead Scale.

It is going to take very drastic measures to correct the situation this country. And some body is not going to like it. I'm not saying stop all immigration for ever. We are a nation of immigrants. And always have been. It's just too far out of control. I know the liberals just love a good free for all. But can you see where it has got us. And I like beer. So what? Even your buddy Obama has a beer every now and then

wentfishn writes:

in response to arrow:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If you cant understand what i meant by my post then your the idiot.

KennyR (Inactive) writes:

in response to Nina6520:

Correct. America needs young people who are educated and of good character to step into the work force and help fix the economy. Most of those eligible have been here most of their lives and love this country.

Immigration reform is coming. This is the beginning, and all the whining by those who do not understand why it is needed will not change that.

Even the most ignorant of the posters on here must know that all the illegals will never be deported, even without this move. So, what alternatives do you suggest?

None? Thought so.

You want an alternative? Introduce a bill and allow our elected Representatives do their jobs. Is that really asking too much?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dVo3n...

goldengatecitizen writes:

Wow, I guess these illegals will now qualify for food stamps, free medical, welfare and our jobs....America is sinking!!!! Obama must be removed from office!!!! Enough already!!!!

dixielee writes:

let's see, if you're 16 and been here for five years, hummmmm (16+5=21) voting age...nah, it couldn't be that simple.....

DinNaples writes:

Impeach now!

Sanity writes:

Does Obama want a second term? Does he realize how out of touch this is with normal Americans including those often clueless liberals?

He just handed the election to Romney.

Sanity writes:

in response to lb5361:

BAM! That was the sound of head's exploding over at FoxNews! KERBLAM! And there goes El Rushbo too!

Correction: this is NOT an Executive Order low information voters who post here. It is a directive from DHS. Put that in your constitutional pipe and smoke it!

Obama 2012!

Let me guess, you believe in Santa Clause too?

Folks this is just another example of a s-----, useful liberal idiot that will never see the light of reason. Do not waste your time trying to convince these mentally challenged folks and save your family and yourself. Let them drown in their stupidity.

Silent1nomore writes:

This President cares only about getting re-elected period! There will be no stopping anything he wants to do if he gets to stay in office for another 4 1/2 years!

He is nothing more than a two-bit politician with a head full of Marxist ideology, compliments of his mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, and financial support from extreme left elites like George Soros, and the corrupt Chicago Political Machine! Not too mention a Media that gives him a pass every step of the way!

He has become a "NATIONAL EMBARASSMENT"!

Ironbutterfly writes:

in response to beerbong:

Never heard of anything so s----- in my life. Enough is enough. Immigration has taken over our lives. Close all the borders, deport all illegals, And wait ten years and give the system time to clean it's self. before letting any body in this country to stay more than two weeks. The BS that is going on now is taking this country DOWN. Lets fix it. Before it's too late.

You summed it up perfectly....how much more proof do we need before we all agree that this dictator has to go.

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