President Obama made a bold move today in the field of immigration policy by announcing a halt to the deportation of certain younger undocumented immigrants. Hundreds of thousands of young immigrants will now be eligible for work permits if they meet a few minimum requirements.
To be able to take advantage of this program, a modified DREAM Act much like one that has recently been proposed by Republican Senator Marco Rubio, individuals must have lived in the United States for at least five years, have no criminal record, currently be in school, and be a high school graduate or have an honorable discharge from the U.S. Coast Guard or the Armed Forces.
In announcing and justifying the new policy, the President said:
"These are young people who studied in our schools. They play in our neighborhoods, they're friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag. They're Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one - on paper.
"They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants, and they often have no idea that they're undocumented until they apply for a job, or a driver's license, or a college scholarship."
The new policy is set to take effect immediately.
Upon hearing of the President's humanitarian change to U.S. immigration policy, the baser elements of the Republican Party (the bigots, baggers, and birthers) went nuts. Well, more nuts.