This past Friday, June 15, 2012, President Obama issued an executive order to stop the deportation of undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria which includes those:
- brought over as children before turning 16
- who have resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years
- are in college, high school grads, or serving in the military
- under the age of 30 with no criminal record
To be clear, this does not provide amnesty or a path to citizenship. It is a temporary fix that will need to be renewed in 2 years.
President Obama has been criticized by Republicans as using this as a vote-getting ploy to solidify the Hispanic vote, which went for Obama 67 percent in 2008. Obama stands by his statement, "This is the right thing to do for the American people." This move brings back the DREAM Act into center stage. The Dream Act, a way for undocumented individuals to gain permanent residency, actually started out as being co-created by Utah Republican Senator Orrin. Though, it has since been filibustered by the Republican Party.
For a more in depth breakdown check out the original article, DREAM Act: Obama stops deportation of children of illegal immigrants.
This issue has received particular attention from the FilAm community as well, starting with Pulitzer-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, an undocumented Filipino immigrant who outed his status last year. Vargas is featured in this week's Time magazine's cover story, We Are Americans.
For more info on his article check out, Inside the World of the 'Illegal' Immigrant.