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Obama Passes an Immigration Policy That Will Change the Lives of 800,000 Immigrants and Put Him Ahead of Romney in the 2012 Election
Submitted by Jesse Towsen on 23 August 2012
From CNN: “What to do with nearly a million people who may have been born in another country but only know this one and who are Americans in every way other than legal status?”
In recent years we have heard of the new policies and strategies being proposed by politicians for addressing the undocumented immigrant population, so it is no surprise that this is a subject of debate in the presidential election.
Currently there are millions of undocumented immigrants residing in America and 400,000 of them are being removed every year.
Since the beginning of the presidential race, Barack Obama has been leading Mitt Romney in the polls among Latino voters, but his recent policy for immigrants, a partial DREAM Act, has really made it difficult for Romney to appeal to the Latin community. Currently, registered Latino voters are in support of Obama 66% and Romney 25%, a historic low for the republican candidate. In 2008 against McCain it was 67% to 31%. And Romney’s campaign has targeted 38% of the Latino vote to beat Obama.
The policy that Obama passed on June 15, 2012 will allow undocumented immigrants under the age of 30 and brought over to America before the age of 16 the right to a two-year work permit as long as they have lived in the country for 5 years and currently live here, are currently in school, received a high school diploma or have a military veteran status with no serious crime or misdemeanor on their criminal record.
The department of Homeland Security said that those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to be taken off the deportation list for two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.
This new policy could change the lives of 800,000 undocumented immigrants. In response, Latin voters have generally supported Obama much more than Romney, and will likely come out to vote for him in greater numbers this November.
The one aspect of the Dream Act that is yet to be achieved is the right to citizenship or permanent residency for young undocumented immigrants.
Throughout the race Romney has been quiet on the topic of immigration and now it is apparent why. When he has spoken on the issue, he has not won the favor of Latino voters. Romney has said, regarding the issue, "I think that we have to follow the law and insist that those who've come here illegally ultimately return home, apply, get in line with everyone else," assuring the people that he will “strengthen legal immigration and make it easier.”
Romney’s vice president, Paul Ryan, hasn’t helped Romney win over Latino voters either. He makes no effort to connect to Latino communities and has opposed many opportunities for those communities; most notably the DREAM Act, which is greatly supported by Latino voters and also by many other Americans.
Both Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney share the same opinions on major immigration issues, even though multiple conservative organizations have actually been backing immigration reform proposals behind closed doors. The republican candidates’ strong opposition could cause them to lose support of Latino voters, and ultimately cost them the election.
It seems that many Americans harbor disdain for undocumented immigrants, without considering that many came by the decision of a parent or guardian.
So why should a minor who lives as a citizen and attends school, face deportation?
Although Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano says that the timing of Obama’s executive order doesn’t have to do with the reelection, this new policy will certainly help Obama significantly with Latino voters.
The issue of undocumented immigrants will continue to be debated in America, but hopefully our candidates’ responses to it are genuine and not for the purpose of winning the election. Hopefully they are doing this to make real change for the country if they win.
What defines an American? The only difference between me and an undocumented immigrant around my age is legal status. I believe that Obama’s decision to provide 800,000 people with a 2-year work permit is an excellent step toward a new and better America.
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