Obama has taken the lead in what can become the Dream Act of 2013, a lifeline tossed to the million of children brought to our country at a young age, educated here and living in essence, but not in law, as “an American.”
The Dream Act was first introduced in 2001. It’s intent was to address the plight of young immigrants who have been raised in the U.S. and managed to succeed despite the challenges of being brought here without proper documentation. The proposal would offer a path to legal status to those who have graduated from high school, stayed out of trouble, and plan to attend college or serve in the U.S. military for at least two years.
When the Senate failed to approve the Dream Act the "baby was thrown out with the bathwater."
In a final ditch effort to save the Dream Act, Senators Richard Durbin, Harry Reid, and Robert Menendez that re-introduced the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. Last fall, the DREAM Act passed the House of Representatives, and garnered the support of a majority in the Senate, but was ultimately defeated when the Senate failed to invoke cloture and proceed to debate. The sponsors of the DREAM Act hope to build on last year’s momentum and continue to highlight the importance of fully utilizing the talent and potential of thousands of young people who are Americans in every way but their birth certificates. Yet trhrought the Senatorial Filibuster, Republicans were able to defeat the dream act by not permitting closure and a vote.
Each year, approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school, many at the top of their classes, but cannot go on to college, join the military, work, or otherwise pursue their dreams. They belong to the 1.5 generation: immigrants brought to the United States at a young age who were largely raised in this country and therefore share much in common with second-generation Americans. These students are culturally American and fluent in English, growing up here and often having little attachment to their country of birth.
With such vehement opposition to most any immigration reform, supporters have tried to convince the president to use more a “piece meal” strategy by using the president's executive power.
Obama “has seen the light” and for the third time this year he is using his executive power to right a wrong, to patch up the rotten and broken U.S. immigration system.
On Friday June 16, 2012 President Obama’s administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children with no criminal record. The election-year program addresses the significant importance of an influential Latino electorate that has been voicing 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 built their lives in the U.S. As an Executive Order it also bypasses Congress and in part achieves the goals of the much desired DREAM Act, a perennial effort, which has up to date not succeeded.
Under the administration plan, undocumented immigrants will be protected from deportation if they prove that 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 will receive a work permit valid for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed.
It’s clear that the policy will not lead toward citizenship, and is not a comprehensive immigration reform, but it 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. Congress and the Judicial system are the only entities that have the power to make or change laws. The president can only use his executive order to provide temporary relief, which could be withdrawn if he does not win the November election.
"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 just in time for the upcoming election. Hispanic voters are at an all time high. These voters should make the decisive factor in swing states like Colorado, Nevada and Florida. Although Obama has always held the support from a majority of Hispanic voters, Latino passion for the president has been diminished 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.
This action by Obama is the third time, that he has found a way to patch up the current failing immigration laws
No matter what happens in the future millions of children, who are presently suffering in a vacuum, will be able to come out into the light and live an American Life. Thank you President Obama.
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