Friday, June 15, 2012

Certain Illegal Immigrant Children To Avoid Deportation Under New Policy, DHS Confirmed

Children illegally in the U.S. that pose no treat to national security and have been law abiding citizens will be granted work permits and stays from deportations.

By H. Nelson Goodson
June 15, 2012

Washington, D.C. - The Obama administration unveiled a new immigration policy that partially enacts similar provisions from the DREAM Act just within five months before the November presidential election. President Barack Obama and his administration has deported more non-criminal undocumented immigrants than any other former president in U.S. history.
Republican federal legislators and the GOP say, the Obama administration is just trying to attract the Hispanic vote once again after failing to deliver a fair Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation when Democrats had control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, which President Obama had promised to do. The Republicans have rejected any type of immigration reform that provided amnesty for more than 12 million undocumented immigrants, including the DREAM Act for children brought to the U.S. by their parents. Border security and closing the border became the Republicans main driving issue to reject any measures for immigration reform laws.
The Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has made it clear that the issue of undocumented immigrants and their children brought into the U.S. at no fault of their own should be a long term solution by Congress and not a short term policy solution as Obama has enacted. If elected, Romney is most likely to void the new policy for low risk undocumented children and would engage in massive deportations of illegals, according to immigrant rights activists around the U.S.
Obama's new short term illegal immigrant stay and work policy for young adults would effect more than 800,000 illegal immigrants 30-years of age and younger who entered the country before the age of 16. Obama said, "it's the right thing to do," to help those brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents at no fault of their own.
Obama's short term stay and work immigration policy doesn't provide a pathway to citizenship for the young adults illegally in the country.
Obama from the White House Rose Garden addressed the new policy from the Department of Homeland Security aimed at making the nation’s immigration policy more fair and more efficient -- by removing the threat of deportation for young people who are low enforcement priorities.
Obama said, "Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.
Now, let's be clear -- this is not amnesty, this is not immunity.  This is not a path to citizenship.  It's not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people."
Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) on PBS dot org said, "First of all, the DREAM Act was rejected by a Democratic Congress in 2010," and then criticized both President Obama and DHS Secretary Napolitano for adding "800,000 more people who are competing for jobs against Americans who have not broken the law. That is unfair to unemployed and underemployed Americans.
The principal problem facing our economy today is jobs. What the president is doing is flooding the job market with illegal immigrants that he is giving temporary work permits to. Not fair."
On Friday, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced in a news release that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and wil be eligible to apply for work authorization.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will continue to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a national security or public safety risk, including immigrants convicted of crimes, violent criminals, felons, and repeat immigration law offenders. Today’s action further enhances the Department’s ability to focus on these priority removals.
Under this directive, individuals who demonstrate that they meet the following criteria will be eligible for an exercise of discretion, specifically deferred action on a case by case basis:

  • Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
  • Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  • Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
  • Are not above the age of thirty.

Only those individuals who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action. Individuals will not be eligible, if they are not currently in the United States and cannot prove that they have been physically present in the United States for a period of not less than 5 years immediately preceding today’s date. Deferred action requests are decided on a case-by-case basis. DHS cannot provide any assurance that all such requests will be granted. The use of prosecutorial discretion confers no substantive right, immigration status, or pathway to citizenship. Only the Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer these rights.
While this guidance takes effect immediately, USCIS and ICE expect to begin implementation of the application processes within sixty days.
For individuals who are in removal proceedings and have already been identified as meeting the eligibility criteria and have been offered an exercise of discretion as part of ICE’s ongoing case-by-case review, ICE will immediately begin to offer them deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, according to Secretary Napolitano's news release.

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