Welcome back. Yesterday, we began talking about an exciting change that was announced by the Obama Administration. Essentially, the administration has decided to stop deporting young illegal immigrants who were brought to the country at a young age, and instead start granting them work permits.
As we explained in the last post, the new plan, which is effective immediately, will grant immunity from deportation to illegal immigrants who:
- were brought to the United States before they turned 16;
- are currently younger than 30;
- have lived in the country for at least five years straight;
- have no criminal record; and
- graduated from a high school in the United States, earned a GED, or served in the military.
These individuals will also have the opportunity to apply for a work permit that will be valid for two years and has no limit as to how many times it can be renewed. Although the work permits will not provide a path to citizenship, the change will allow those who stay out of trouble with the law to stay in the country for an extended period of time.
In announcing the administration's action, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano acknowledged that, "Many of these young people have already contributed to our country in significant ways." President Obama then discussed the change in further detail on Friday afternoon from the White House Rose Garden.
"Let's be clear, this is not amnesty, this is not immunity, this is not a path to citizenship, this is not a permanent fix," Obama said. "This is the right thing to do." Essentially, Obama said the goal of the change is to "lift the shadow of deportation from these young people."
Source: CBS News, "Obama policy to spare many youths from deportation," June 15, 2012