Speaking at the White House Rose Garden on Friday, June 15th, 2012, President Obama made an announcement that “the Department of Homeland Security will no longer initiate the deportation of illegal immigrants who came to the United States before age 16, have lived here for at least five years, and are in school, are high school graduates or are military veterans in good standing.”
While President Obama made clear that this provision is not an amnesty measure, path to citizenship, or even a permanent fix to the problem of illegal immigration, this new policy could temporarily benefit more than 800,000 young people. The beneficiaries of this change are similar to those who would have been eligible for permanent resident status under the Dream Act, legislation Obama has supported but was blocked by Republicans in the Senate in 2010.
In reference to these thousands of young illegal immigrants to whom the policy change addresses, Obama remarked, “They are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper.”
Is Obama making the right choice in addressing the concerns of illegal immigration – for U.S .citizens and for the migrants themselves?