Young immigrants could get OK to stay in U.S., get work permits

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WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

Obama planned to discuss the new policy Friday afternoon from the White House Rose Garden.

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. It tracks closely to a proposal offered by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida as an alternative to the DREAM Act.

"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.

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Comments » 62

heritagevalley11 writes:

Another reason to vote for a third-party candidate for president.

The last time I looked at the statistics said jobs for AMERICANS were flat, so what do we do, give more jobs to illegals.

heritagevalley11 writes:

in response to LurkerX:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And you were the first hater to post. I am impressed.

Barney writes:

It took four years for the Panderer in Chief to come up with this bit of immigration reform?

BigBen writes:

in response to heritagevalley11:

Another reason to vote for a third-party candidate for president.

The last time I looked at the statistics said jobs for AMERICANS were flat, so what do we do, give more jobs to illegals.

If our politicians will do anything for a vote we might as well put Roseanne Barhog in there.She might put 5 chickens in every pot.I can't wait for the Republican comments.For once they might actually have some merit.

ridgewalker_101 writes:

in response to LurkerX:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act"

I guess we don't need congress. King Obummer can just rule like Chavez and Putin.

"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."

I guess all the laws we have should be ignored as well.

So let it be written, so let it be done ?

Seems like Obumbles is not liking his internal polling numbers and is grasping at straws.

Wake up people, we are headed towards a dictatorship.

What's next ? Will Obama cancel the election ?

Anita_Corona writes:

your?

Tex_Watson writes:

We don't need 3 branches of government when we have all seeing, all knowing Obama.
Because this President refuses to resign now, it is imperative that we vote to remove Obama this November to save what is left of this once great Country.

heritagevalley11 writes:

Let's be real folks, both Repubicans and Democrats having been working at giving illegals amnesty for years. Even Ronald Reagan did it.

The reason is to turn the U.S. into a Third World country so we can have cheap labor and lower salaries. Then we bring manufacturing back.

We will turn into a country like China with a dictatorship.

Just keep voting for your team, Republican or Democrat, and don't vote for anyone that is lookeing out for you. You asked fore this.

northwestprincess writes:

But wait, there's more ! pbo also proposed a "catch & release" policy for border agents giving them discretion to release "low priority" illegal immigrants! Border agents will determine who & when the "backdoor amnesty" program will apply. Nice strategy for pbo ~~when he get re-elected he can continue to blame the unemployment, with these additional 800,000 hispanic colonists issued "work-permits", on bush ~ if, big if, he doesn't get re-elected he can blame the new president! Maybe we really do not need homeland security, and, border control, what is the point?

LeftOxnard writes:

So I was at my daugthers graduation last night and I think this Presidents Plan, may not be the best idea for the 2 following reasons:

1. Most of the program was in Spanish, English is the primary language of The United States of America and should be spoken where it is taught!

2. They had recited "The Pledge of Alligance" and there was great disrespect to something so critical for being an American, also they left God out of the equation!

If our President decides to move forward with this plan, I must insist on the following items to be part of the plan:

1. Must Speak English as a primary language!
2. Must pass U.S. History classes
3. Must have Social Security # and pay Taxes

I really believe that this is part of a global takeover and a New World Order and it scares me!

TK421 (Inactive) writes:

Maybe Obama realized he is going to be a one term president and decided to finally pay something back for the support he got in 2008 from hispanics?

LeftOxnard writes:

I really think that Mexico will be part of the United States of America, Along wif Canada! I think we as a Nation are at a turning point.....

So I was wondering also so that I am not labeled as a Racist, is this only limited to Mexicans or all people???

Forever_Young writes:

"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."

That's too bad, because Mexico, which annually deports more illegal aliens than the United States does, has much to teach us about how it handles the immigration issue. Under Mexican law, it is a felony to be an illegal alien in Mexico.

Phil_Jaramillo writes:

in response to Anita_Corona:

your?

Its Obamas plan two heel the economy - eliminate the other to branches of government.

Get over yourself Anita - send me a document you've written and I'll tear it apart. This is a comment board not a grammar exam. Save the nagging for your husband.

REVTRUEGRIT writes:

Obama -why dont you let them all in!!! There are no jobs here anyways,just give them the aid they deserve,Make our
country more broke ,Remove Obama 2012

ron805 writes:

Emperors don't need no stinkin' Congress.

MisspentYouth writes:

So undocumented hispanics are now free to roam around without fear of deportation.

Guess which state the vast majority are going to call home?

Chilibreath writes:

Are there anymore doubts that we are going to hell in a hand basket on greased skids?

2BRNOT2B writes:

Nothing surprises me from King Obama and his elite administration of clowns. He will go down in history as the worst, most anti-American President ever.

Forever_Young writes:

Arrogant Authoritarianism!

LeftOxnard writes:

in response to LurkerX:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Even during Thanksgiving you get your choice on white or dark meat and drown it with the special gravy!!!!!!!!!

Forever_Young writes:

When President Obama was inaugurated, he swore an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Article II, Section 3 directs the President to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Unfortunately, in what has become an all too common occurrence in this administration, Obama is once again bending that oath to the breaking point by specifically not taking care that immigration laws passed by Congress are faithfully executed.

BigBen writes:

in response to Phil_Jaramillo:

Its Obamas plan two heel the economy - eliminate the other to branches of government.

Get over yourself Anita - send me a document you've written and I'll tear it apart. This is a comment board not a grammar exam. Save the nagging for your husband.

Yes Anita the Pres is a heel with a flawed plan. Now get over your heels and stand on your own two feet. Here come El Presidente

REVTRUEGRIT writes:

This president is a disgrace!!!

Barney writes:

in response to MisspentYouth:

So undocumented hispanics are now free to roam around without fear of deportation.

Guess which state the vast majority are going to call home?

The one with the best, or worst depending on how you see it, welfare benefits.

Forever_Young writes:

Obama has demonstrated a persistent pattern of circumventing the legislative branch via executive orders whenever his agenda stalls.

mark89 writes:

- All Racist are (name calling removed).!! Im White && NOT racist.!

jjohnjj writes:

The President's action is well within the constitutional powers of his office, and nearly identical to a plan proposed by Republican Senator Marco Rubio... recently mentioned as a possible running-mate to Mitt Romney.

The action has nothing to do with jobs. The numbers of people involved are a drop in a drop in the bucket.

This is about not deporting young people who were raised here, educated here and are already working here; Young people who speak better English than Spanish, who've never met their relatives in Mexico, Honduras or Guatamala, and who would have a very hard time surviving as stateless deportees in a foreign country.

heritagevalley11 writes:

I know how Obama is going to find out if the illegal children have lived in the U.S. for a while and have been obeying the laws.

He will simply ask them. No need to spend taxpayer money researching on such a small issue. I am sure they will tell the truth. (sarcasm)

LeftOxnard writes:

So just a question???? Whats the difference between Obama & Bush, when it comes to securing our immediate borders Not a damm thing!

As a matter of fact Bush was so busy with securing borders 1/2 way around the world, he was really in a drunken stooper most of the time anyways!!! Obama has a plan and It may be a plan to extend our borders, makes sense since were supporting them and 1/2 the world anyways.....

LeftOxnard writes:

in response to mark89:

- All Racist are (name calling removed).!! Im White && NOT racist.!

Seems like your needing a pat on the back...

heritagevalley11 writes:

in response to mark89:

- All Racist are (name calling removed).!! Im White && NOT racist.!

Are you saying that anyone who doesn't want illegals (who are working in the U.S. under that table, part of the 40% that pay no Federal Taxes, take jobs from Americans, and are PART of the many people who Taxpayers lose much of their paychecks for financial services for them) are racist.

Since when is the financial downfall of America been a racial issue? I am not racist. I have a Hispanic wife and Hispanic friends and surprising most are against the illegal invasion.

heritagevalley11 writes:

in response to thadious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What is funny is if you ask the supporters if people had a choice to OPT-OUT of paying taxes for services for illegals they say they would OPT-OUT.

It shows that they only care if the taxes were forced across the population and not them, who, by the way, are most like not paying taxes themselves.

BigBen writes:

in response to heritagevalley11:

Are you saying that anyone who doesn't want illegals (who are working in the U.S. under that table, part of the 40% that pay no Federal Taxes, take jobs from Americans, and are PART of the many people who Taxpayers lose much of their paychecks for financial services for them) are racist.

Since when is the financial downfall of America been a racial issue? I am not racist. I have a Hispanic wife and Hispanic friends and surprising most are against the illegal invasion.

Don't you just hate those that hate haters just for GP.Just like the Republicans blaming everything on the liberals.

HerbieVerstinx writes:

Shameful. Just plain shameful. They're ruining our country.

mark89 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

troutcon writes:

Obviously, Barack Hugo Obama is going to get a warm welcome next week from the irredentist faction at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' annual conference -- if the usual reconquista suspects like Luis Gutierrez, Cecilia Munoz, and Tony Villar, et al., are going to be there, I'm sure they will all be feeling Chris Mathews-style tingles going up and down their legs.

Not so obvious, however, is what kind of welcome he will get the next time he addresses a meeting of grass-roots African-American community leaders when they start asking questions about why the Administration is dumping 800,000+ new, mostly young, job seekers into the workforce when black youth unemployment is over 40%.

mark89 writes:

in response to BigBen:

Don't you just hate those that hate haters just for GP.Just like the Republicans blaming everything on the liberals.

WOW.!! TAKE YOUR JOBS.?? DONT THINK SO, I WOULD LOVE TOO SEE YOU WORK 8 TO 12 HOURS IN FIELDS.! YOU WONT LAST "1 (ONE)" HOUR DOING WHAT THE ILLEGALS YOU CALL, OR ANY OTHER RACE BUT MEXICAN IMMIGRANTS.!

troutcon writes:

in response to mark89:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oh, mark -- that is just soooooo "90's"

mark89 writes:

in response to troutcon:

Oh, mark -- that is just soooooo "90's"

90's && Still Today, Just "DONT" Get it were are all Humans, Not from Out Of Space.! Like if Mexico Treats you like this when Americans or Any other Race Go for A Visit To Mexico.!

ceeyh805 writes:

in response to jjohnjj:

The President's action is well within the constitutional powers of his office, and nearly identical to a plan proposed by Republican Senator Marco Rubio... recently mentioned as a possible running-mate to Mitt Romney.

The action has nothing to do with jobs. The numbers of people involved are a drop in a drop in the bucket.

This is about not deporting young people who were raised here, educated here and are already working here; Young people who speak better English than Spanish, who've never met their relatives in Mexico, Honduras or Guatamala, and who would have a very hard time surviving as stateless deportees in a foreign country.

Boohooo..Send'm home with the parents that brought'm Mexico will become a state eventually its only a matter of time before it collapes. Send them and thier (lowering US) educations back home and start improving life there, with 65% US. born youth unemployment frees up a lot of entry level jobs here.

Forever_Young writes:

Obama clearly has no respect for Congress or the constitution, as his executive amnesty proves.

There are 20 million Americans without a full-time job. How does amnestying millions of illegal aliens help these jobless Americans? Clearly, it does not. We both know that this executive amnesty will make it harder for jobless Americans to find work and will only encourage more illegal aliens to come to this country. Furthermore, an amnesty will create a chain migration nightmare by allowing the newly-amnestied illegal aliens to bring in their adult relatives. All told, millions of illegal aliens will get an amnesty they don't deserve and America will get millions of new foreign workers it doesn't need. And the biggest losers of all will be American workers, who will face even more competition for an ever-scarcer number of jobs.

beyondoxnard writes:

in response to Forever_Young:

Obama clearly has no respect for Congress or the constitution, as his executive amnesty proves.

There are 20 million Americans without a full-time job. How does amnestying millions of illegal aliens help these jobless Americans? Clearly, it does not. We both know that this executive amnesty will make it harder for jobless Americans to find work and will only encourage more illegal aliens to come to this country. Furthermore, an amnesty will create a chain migration nightmare by allowing the newly-amnestied illegal aliens to bring in their adult relatives. All told, millions of illegal aliens will get an amnesty they don't deserve and America will get millions of new foreign workers it doesn't need. And the biggest losers of all will be American workers, who will face even more competition for an ever-scarcer number of jobs.

Your prediction doesn't fit with economic theory.

Tex_Watson writes:

"Young immigrants could get OK to stay in U.S..."?
Hey VCS, your bias is showing, they're talking about illegal immigrants. The term illegal immigrant is not a racist term. When a person sneaks into this Country by climbing a fence or swimming across a river or hiking through the Arizona desert, they're here illegally. What are you afraid of?

Barney writes:

in response to mark89:

WOW.!! TAKE YOUR JOBS.?? DONT THINK SO, I WOULD LOVE TOO SEE YOU WORK 8 TO 12 HOURS IN FIELDS.! YOU WONT LAST "1 (ONE)" HOUR DOING WHAT THE ILLEGALS YOU CALL, OR ANY OTHER RACE BUT MEXICAN IMMIGRANTS.!

I'd go to Mexico and visit anytime. If I wanted to live there I would have to prove I had insurance and the funds to support myself. If I didn't follow the proper procedure and was found overstaying my approved time I would be arrested, jailed and deported. If my children were with me they would not receive free public education of government assistance including, but not limited to, free breakfast and lunch. Why should our policy be any different then theirs?
Our greatest change needs to be with the 14th amendment.

Forever_Young writes:

Obama is determined to circumvent the Congress on all issues that he cannot pursue through legislation and, since all of his social progressive mandates are pretty much unconstitutional, he fully intends to operate as a Dictator, while he pretends to be a moderate, Constitutional, Democrat.

ms_reason writes:

in response to mark89:

WOW.!! TAKE YOUR JOBS.?? DONT THINK SO, I WOULD LOVE TOO SEE YOU WORK 8 TO 12 HOURS IN FIELDS.! YOU WONT LAST "1 (ONE)" HOUR DOING WHAT THE ILLEGALS YOU CALL, OR ANY OTHER RACE BUT MEXICAN IMMIGRANTS.!

Mark, do you think really that illegals are ONLY working in the fields? If you do you need to get out more. They work in fast food, they work at hotels, motels, and they work in basically any labor they can get into.
The employers should be fined for hiring them.

This is simply wrong. Our own children/teenagers can't even find jobs. The unemployment rate is high. Our Country is in a crisis. Yet, our President wants to help those who enter the Country illegally...(Key word is illegal). Look it up in the dictionary.

Mark, use small caps; it's okay.

JohnInSimi writes:

Pander, pander, pander this is Obama's obvious move to get more votes. It's that simple folks and those who cheer on Obama are as simple-minded as this political move.

RoadWarrior writes:

What next?

RoadWarrior writes:

I'm taking bets that photos of Osama's dead body are mysteriously leaked around October time frame...

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