Snap Fact #231
President Obama leads again - He Orders U.S. to Stop Deportation of Qualified Young "Illegals"!
With one stroke of his pen President Barack Obama signed a common sense Executive Order that could keep thousands of young illegal immigrants from being deported. The policy change takes effect immediately and in many ways resembles a pale version of the Dream Act that Congress has repeatedly failed to pass in recent years. 

In 2010, President Obama supported and pushed the Dream Act to Congress to grant citizenship to young immigrants whom were brought to the United States illegally by their parents when they were young. 
However, unfortunately, the bill failed due to the opposition of Republicans. Finally on Friday, June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced it will stop deporting these young immigrants since, as President Obama claimed, they are truly Americans. 

Undocumented youths will have to meet certain requirements to stay in the U.S. They have to be under 30 years old, have come to the U.S. before they were 16 years old, have lived here for at least five years, have no criminal record and have a high school diploma, GED or be currently enrolled in school or serving in the military. Those who fit that description may apply for a two-year guaranteed stay of deportation and will be able to apply for a work permit.

Although these people are not granted citizenship or green card (permanent resident legal status), their two-year deferred action removes the threat of deportation for that time with the possibility of repeated extension. 
There is still more to do in this regard. The administration policy does not grant citizenship, nor does it provide a path to citizenship. All it does is to guarantee to delay deportation to the qualifying group.

President Obama has once again urged Congress to pass the Dream Act to give these youngsters a chance to earn their American citizenship. In laying the gauntlet at the feet of Congress, the President challenged, “They pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper”.

Immigration Attorney John Russo of New Mexico acknowledged that the change is common sense and will make a big difference for undocumented workers looking for a job. “The employers care about the work permits, and I think it makes the practical difference between getting a job and not getting a job”.

The executive order, which Latinos and other immigrants have been pleading for since Congress turned aside an effort to pass similar legislation, cast into sharp relief the longstanding political differences on immigration, one of the most divisive and delicate issues being debated as the November elections approach. 

Of course Republicans were quick to criticize Mr. Obama, saying that he was overstepping his powers in an end run around Congress. But the president said he was acting only "in the absence of any immigration action from Congress to fix our broken immigration system."

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (in reference to the Dream Act) has said he “would veto that law”.