The Hill reported today on the changes that President Obama unilaterally made to America’s immigration policies. The Daily Caller also posted the story.
The Hill reports:
The new policy will not grant citizenship to children who came to the United States as illegal immigrants, but will remove the threat of deportation and grant them the right to work in the United States.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the policy change will apply to those who came to the United States before they were 16 and who are younger than 30 if they have lived here for five years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or served in the military.
The Daily Caller points out:
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, called the change a “decision to grant amnesty to potentially millions of illegal immigrants.”
“Many illegal immigrants will falsely claim they came here as children and the federal government has no way to check whether their claims are true,” Smith said in a statement. “And once these illegal immigrants are granted deferred action, they can then apply for a work permit, which the administration routinely grants 90% of the time.”
However, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who sponsored the DREAM Act, welcomed the announcement that he said “will give these young immigrants their chance to come out of the shadows and be part of the only country they’ve ever called home.”
I am sure we are going to hear more about this as the November election approaches. There are, however, a few obvious points about this policy change that need to be looked at. First of all, it is an obvious move on the part of the President to get the Hispanic vote. Second of all, it does not solve any of the immigration problem. What happens to the parents of these children–are they granted amnesty also? Third, it will not help the teenage unemployment rate, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates is currently 14 percent. This is, unfortunately, a political move rather than a practical move. I understand that nothing is going to get done in Washington between now and the election, but it would have made sense to put immigration on the list for the new Congress and administration (if there is a new administration) to deal with after January.
Marco Rubio posted the following on his website:
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement by the Department of Homeland Security regarding its immigration enforcement policies:
“There is broad support for the idea that we should figure out a way to help kids who are undocumented through no fault of their own, but there is also broad consensus that it should be done in a way that does not encourage illegal immigration in the future. This is a difficult balance to strike, one that this new policy, imposed by executive order, will make harder to achieve in the long run.
“Today’s announcement will be welcome news for many of these kids desperate for an answer, but it is a short term answer to a long term problem. And by once again ignoring the Constitution and going around Congress, this short term policy will make it harder to find a balanced and responsible long term one.”
The Senator has it right.