The plan is in action!
Undocumented immigrants wishing to stay in the country have already started to receive work permits, saving them from possible deportation for up to 2 years under the Obama administration’s recent Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. About 72,000 applications have been submitted since the official kickoff of the program on August 15. This comes as a surprise, since the Department of Homeland Security estimated that applications would not be processed for about 4 to 6 months. California has the most applications submitted so far, and the largest number of applicants were born in Mexico. In order for an applicant to be approved, they must pay a fee of $465 and complete a background check. Applicants must also fit into these categories:
-Came to the U. S. when they were under the age of 16
-Are 31 or younger
-Are high school graduates or are in college or have served in the military
-No serious criminal record
This program seems to have been established at an extremely convenient time for the president. Many consider the Hispanic vote crucial for president Obama to be elected for a second term.
On the other side, Mitt Romney has stated that he would veto the DREAM Act if elected to office, which was developed to allow undocumented immigrants of “good moral character” to gain conditional permanent residency. This program is similar to the DREAM Act, but it differs because the new policy does not give undocumented immigrants a long-term legal status in this country.
During the Democratic National Convention, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals plan was repeatedly mentioned as a significant part of President Obama’s reelection campaign. Republicans in Congress have openly rejected this program based on the claim that it is conflicting with current immigration enforcement. However, some believe that the program is not doing enough for undocumented immigrants, despite Republican opposition. What do you think? Is Obama’s plan drastic enough to make a significant change? Or is it just another tiny step to appease both Democrats and Republicans?