*(Via USA Today) – Ignoring complaints from congressional Republicans, the Obama administration announced today that it would halt deportations of up to 800,000 illegal immigrants who were brought to the country as children.
President Obama discusses his administration’s new immigration policy on Friday.
In recent years, congressional Democrats have tried and failed to pass the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to illegal immigrants who were brought to the USA as children and have completed high school and either attended college or served in the military.
The administration’s decision, announced by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano this morning, does not grant legal status to those DREAM students but halts any deportation proceedings against them for two years and allows them to apply for a work permit.
While announcing the new policy, President Obama called DREAM-eligible students, or DREAMers, Americans “in every single way but one: on paper.”
“This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix,” Obama said. “This is a temporary, stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to … patriotic young people.
“It’s the right thing to do,” he said.
The announcement thrusts the immigration debate squarely into the presidential election, as both sides try to win over the ever-increasing Latino vote and Democrats try to energize the crucial bloc.
Read/learn more at USA Today.
Watch President Obama make his announcement: