Obama’s victory in the 2012 presidential election was met with a mixture of relief, happiness and doubt. The national debates seemed to cover a variety of issues, aside from one of the most prominent: immigration. The initial optimism of both legal and illegal citizens surrounding Obama’s ability to deal with the controversial topic of immigration, quickly faded when he ended up deporting more undocumented immigrants than Bush had in his previous term.
As it goes with each new presidential term, Obama has assured the United States that he will fulfill a new set of promises. Obama recently announced an executive action that will enable hundreds of illegal immigrants who came into the United States as children to stay and work in the country without fear of deportation. Supposedly the policy change could possibly benefit more than 800,000 youth. Although the policy does not grant permanent residence, it does allow immigrant youth to live a normal life, working legally and owning a driver’s license and other necessary legal documents for two years. This policy change has also established that the Department of Homeland Security can no longer deport illegal immigrants who live in the United States and are under the age of 16, are high school graduates or military veterans. Immigrant youth have been advocating for measures such as these for over a year. Yet, not everyone was elated at the new change. Republicans were incensed with Obama’s disregard of Congress’s authority. Obama’s decision holds high potential for considerable payoff and it signifies a groundbreaking and hopeful change for the United States.
Yet, is it perhaps, too good to be true? Many immigrant youth are feverishly applying for this new program, but find that it’s more difficult than they believed. Illegal immigrants have been struggling to collect evidence to qualify, because it is difficult to document an undocumented life.