President Obama announced June 15 that the Department of Homeland Security will stop targeting young undocumented immigrants for deportation under certain circumstances.
Deferrals for Immigrant Children
“Under the new policy, people younger than 30 who came to the United States before the age of 16, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military can get a two-year deferral from deportation,” CNN reported. It also allows these immigrants to apply for work permits if they are currently in the United States and can prove that they have been for at least five years, the article said.
Renewed Support from Evangelicals
The president’s announcement follows a June 12 announcement that more than 100 Evangelical leaders have signed a Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform. The statement calls for “a bipartisan solution on immigration” that respects human dignity and the rule of law, protects family unity, guarantees secure borders, ensures fairness to taxpayers, and establishes a “path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents.”
‘Path to Citizenship’ Controversial
Christianity Today reported that only the path to citizenship point “is likely to touch on anything controversial,” because “the other five principles represent values that the vast majority of Americans believe should drive immigration reform.”
Focus on the Family Joins the Fight
The Los Angeles Times reported that although evangelical leaders like Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission president Richard Land and National Association of Evangelicals president Leith Anderson have supported immigration reform for several years, this is the first time that Focus on the Family has affirmed support for the issue.
‘Political Cover’ for President Obama
At The Daily Beast, David Sessions opined that “thanks to an emerging coalition of religious leaders, [immigration reform] might be the only issue where there is plausible common ground to be shared between the White House and the GOP base.” Perhaps he is correct. CNN described Evangelical and Catholic support for reform as “political cover” for the president.
Whether Obama’s political move will win him votes or backfires is the subject of a roundup at The Week, should you care about such things.
Gov. Romney’s ‘Tricky Balancing Act’
On Sunday, Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney told “Face the Nation’s” Bob Schieffer that “if [Obama] really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with illegal immigration in America, than this is something he would have taken up in his first three and a half years, not in his last few months,”.
Today, CBS described Romney’s position on the issue as “a tricky balancing act” of “aggressively courting the Hispanic vote, which could be decisive in the election” while holding on to his “conservative base that wants tough immigration policies.”
Impacted Immigrants Have Questions
Meanwhile, the young undocumented immigrants that the law directly impacts have questions, according to the Associated Press. They want to know: “Is it too good to be true? How will it actually work? What are the risks or pitfalls?”
What Do You Think?
Should young people whose parents brought them to the United States illegally be eligible for a path to citizenship?