Obama Administration Will Not Seek Deportation of Young Illegal ImmigrantsMatt Boster
Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Jun 15 2012 10:42 AM
According to msnbc.com; The Obama administration will no longer deport law-abiding young people who immigrated to the US illegally when they were children, according to a memorandum released today by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Some of the group will also be eligible to receive work permits, Napolitano said in the statement.
“Our Nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a strong and sensible manner,” Napolitano wrote. “They are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case. Nor are they designed to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language.”
In the memorandum — addressed to top officials from US Customs and Border Protection, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement — Napolitano outlined the criteria for people who qualify for the exemptions from deportation proceedings.
Immigrants currently under the age of 30 must have entered the United States before they were 16 years old, and have lived in the United States for five years. They must be enrolled in school, have graduated from school, obtained a GED, or have been discharged from the Coast Guard or the armed forces.
Those will not qualify if they have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor offense, or multiple misdemeanor offenses, or if they pose a threat to national security, Napolitano said.
Napolitano pointed out in the memorandum that the new policy on deportation does not provide a path to citizenship.
“This memorandum confers no substantive right, immigration status or pathway to citizenship. Only the Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer these rights,” Napolitano said. “It remains for the executive branch, however, to set forth policy for the exercise of discretion within the framework of the existing law.”