WASHINGTON, June 15, 2012 - “This is not amnesty, this is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.”
That is how President Obama described his administration’s decision to begin a policy to cease the deportation of 800,000 young foreign nationals in the country without proper documentation and authorization. The
This morning, Department of Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano announced that the federal government will begin granting 2-year renewable work permits to those young people.
The President’s remarks were interrupted by journalist and conservative writer for The Daily Caller Neil Munro who shouted “foreigners over American workers” at Obama before the President could tell him he will not be interrupted while speaking.
Some are calling the move a political one to placate the Hispanic base which many say will be the demographic and voting bloc that would decide the 2012 presidential election. Certainly, it leapfrogs a plan Republican Senator Marco Rubio (FL) had been drafting which would have granted certain rights for children of undocumented and illegal immigrants.
Several have cried foul and denounced the move as an overreach of Presidential authority saying that only Congress can grant relief to illegal immigrants. They say the government will now have to start providing public benefits, like welfare and food stamps and the move will take jobs away from Americans.
First, relief required today does not grant rights to any benefits other than the benefit of paying taxes and contributing to the social security system. Last time checked, revenues and social security could use a boost.
Second, when several local jurisdictions and states put in place laws to drive out their illegal immigrant population, businesses closed down and others complained that the American workers who took their place asked for too many breaks, didn’t show up for work, demanded much and did little, had poor work ethic and some simply thought the work was beneath them.
The majority of jobs taken by immigrants include low-pay, low-wage jobs, picking fruit, working long hours doing back breaking work gardening, cleaning homes and caring for the elderly in nursing homes – jobs many Americans refuse to do.
And to all those who decry that law breakers are being rewarded and that they are taking jobs away from Americans under this Democratic president, please recall that in 1986 Republican President Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to 2.7 million illegal immigrants.
Indeed the American immigration system is broken. However, recent trends show things are changing. A recent PEW Hispanic Center study showed a net gain in immigrants from
“[T]oday, there are fewer illegal crossings than at any time in the past 40 years,” the President said during his White House Rose Garden remarks this afternoon.
Still a PEW Research Center study indicated that there are an estimated 11.9 million illegal immigrants in the
However, it is also still worth also reminding Americans, as this blog noted on this subject two years ago, this is a nation predominantly made up of immigrants whose ancestors would likely not qualify to enter America under today’s standards that require an American sponsor via marriage or work.
In the day gone by, when families arrived in the
As numerical limitations were instituted and certain immigrants were restricted from entering the
The definition of who was “legal” and who was “illegal” changed with the evolution of immigration laws. In fact, many American families might not have been allowed to enter the
Furthermore, throughout history early immigrants, many from
The Immigration Policy Center writes:
Acknowledging the large numbers of illegal Europeans in the
Today, roughly 65,000 undocumented youth graduate from high school every year.
“It makes no sense to expel talented young people, who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans — they’ve been raised as Americans; understand themselves to be part of this country — to expel these young people who want to staff our labs, or start new businesses, or defend our country simply because of the actions of their parents,” Obama said.
And for certain, while some say immigration is a state issue, in recent years, states themselves have recognized that it is not in their economic interest to wholesale block young immigrant kids from college.
The Utah legislature had to backtrack on a plan to remove its in-state policy when it realized it risked losing 1.5 million in tuition revenue from those students had it not reverted its policy. In fact, recognizing the value of the tuition dollars and contribution, 10 states, including
Indeed, immigrants wanting to educate themselves create real value to the economy and society that cannot be denied.
In the end, without a policy that would enable more to attend college, Americans would still lose out as our safety and security would be compromised by those opting for a more dangerous route. Furthermore, the cost of prosecuting and deporting any youthful offenders would also bear a burden on our economy.
That was the calculus that the administration made in coming to its decision today, of course without retribution. Certainly, we can expect judicial challenges, protest and other responses to this move.
In the meantime, today is a day for thousands of young people facing deportation to rejoice in the knowledge they won’t be returned to a home they know little to nothing about and begin contributing their part to building the economy.
We educated them and it’s the least they can do to give back, right?
Read more Politics of Raising Children in The Communities at the Washington Times. Follow Jeneba Ghatt at @JenebaSpeaks. Her work can also be read at JenebaSpeaks.com and Politic365. She also co-hosts a Blog Talk Radio show called Right of Black which tackles current events and politics from a perspective not often seen in the mainstream media.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.