Obama Admin to Stop Deportations of Young Illegal Immigrants and Grant Work Permits

The Department of Homeland Security announced this morning that it will no longer deport young illegal immigrants, and instead grant them work permits. This decision was made without input from Congress. They couldn’t pass the Dream Act, so they’ll implement it by fiat.

The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of an influential Latino electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies.

The policy change, announced Friday by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, a long-sought but never enacted plan to establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally but who have attended college or served in the military.

The extraordinary step comes one week before President Barack Obama plans to address the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials’ annual conference in Orlando, Fla. Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney is scheduled to speak to the group on Thursday. (Read More)

I wonder if they’ll try to also grant them the right to vote before the November election.

Michelle Malkin notes “Whine and ye shall receive.”

This is a purely political move.

The move comes in an election year in which the Hispanic vote could be critical in swing states such as Colorado, Nevada and Florida. While Mr. Obama enjoys support from a majority of Hispanic voters, Latino enthusiasm for the president has been tempered by the slow economic recovery, his inability to win congressional support for a broad overhaul of immigration laws and by his administration’s aggressive deportation policy.

Also in the news this morning is a memo outlining how the administration will have border agents catch and release what they believe to be “low priority” illegals entering the US.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency charged with guarding the U.S. borders, has written a secret draft policy that would let its agents catch and release low-priority illegal immigrants rather than bring them in for processing and prosecution.

The policy, which has not been signed off on, would be the latest move by the Obama administration to set new priorities for the nation’s immigration services, and would bring CBP in line with other Homeland Security Department agencies that already use such “prosecutorial discretion.”

The policy was detailed in an internal memo obtained by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith and reviewed by The Washington Times, which confirmed the document.

According to the memo, the draft policy “provides circumstances when to pursue enforcement actions … and includes detailed discussion of several factors CBP personnel should consider when exercising discretion.”

Why go to the trouble and expense of catching them if they’re just going to be let go?

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