Obama: DHS will issue work visas to young undocumented immigrants

The Nation reports:

Issues for debate:

  1. Is this in any way a bad idea? I can’t see any downside, frankly.

  2. Could it backfire on Obama electorally? I can imagine the screams of “Amnesty!” starting any minute now. OTOH, Romney has not (yet) taken any immigration hard-line, so maybe it won’t even be an issue. Come to think of it, not even the Tea Partiers talk much about immigration – yet; this might be the signal for them to start.

And the Freeptards do not disappoint . . .

This is what bothers me. So what if President Romney decides he has “no choice” but to take unilateral executive action when he can’t get his policies passed through the regular legislative route and declares them to be law by fiat?

The job of the executive is to make sure that the laws are FAITHFULLY executed. If there is to be a change in policy it needs to pass both houses of Congress. Even if you think that one house is being a bunch of poopyheads because they don’t like what you like, it still is not law…

I think it’s a shrewd move, politically. Romney’s already half-way agreeing- unlike some of the Republicans, Romney is actually worried about alienating the 20-30% of hispanics that still vote R.

The only argument I’ve seen is that it’s a jobs issue.

But who friggin cares? We run an economy that asks people to come here.

Horray for high school teachers everywhere!

I think it’s a bad idea, and I’m very pro-Immigration and pro-immigration reform.

Downsides: the specific requirements are harsh. You have to prove you’ve been here for 5 years since immigrating as a child, which means that if you came at age 15 and you’re now 19 you still can’t apply. Also, it kind of (obliquely) forces you to rat out your parents, who probably won’t qualify for the program. I mean, if you came in as a child, chances are good an adult was involved. I assume the authorities granting the visa won’t communicate your home address to Homeland Security for them to check out the other residents’ immigration status, but if I were in that situation I’d be nervous.

More importantly, there’s still no path to citizenship. All you get is a potentially renewable two-year work permit. If they’re like the renewable work permits Mr. Mallard was on, they need to be renewed from outside of the country, where you are subject to the whims of consular officials. That means every two years you spend a lot of money on a gamble that you can get back into the US.

I’d like to see children raised in America for, say, at least three years before the age of 18 (three years isn’t long but it’s huge to a teenager) be put on a path to citizenship once they have passed their eighteenth birthday.

I don’t think so. People that are likely to be the loudest opponents of this measure are also not likely to vote for Obama anyway, so it doesn’t really cost him any potential votes. Might gain him some swing votes, and boost his advantage with Hispanics.

So, you’re saying the change doesn’t go far enough. I’m inclined to agree, but politics is the art of the possible; presumably Obama calculated and/or was advised that this is the biggest change he can get away with, politically or legally, at the present time.

That, but I’m also saying the policy puts beneficiaries at risk in the very near future. Leaving the country in order to renew a visa is expensive, and may force people into losing their legal status for want of money. Further, once you’re out of the country, there’s a very real risk the visa won’t be renewed and you won’t be allowed to re-enter.

If the specifics of these work permits are such that they can be renewed from within the US, those are not valid objections. I’m going by my limited experience with work visas to the US, but I haven’t seen any details for this program.

Kind of agree with Dr. Drake…it’s got some harsh requirements, and some of them are a bit odd. And it doesn’t go far enough, IMHO. This whole issue, more than most things I think, really makes the current crop of Republicans distasteful. It’s populist fear mongering, playing on peoples anxiety and stress. Immigration is what made this country great, and it is still making this country great. We should be throwing open our doors and inviting people in, especially professionals with the skills we need. And we should be making it so that folks who are here illegally can legally become Americans, and share the dream…and freaking pay taxes and stuff too. WTF is wrong with people who are afraid of that or against it??

Ok, rants over.


If he can, he’ll do that anyway. He’s a Republican, which means he has no morals, no principles and no conscience.

A self destructive attitude for a President when the other party is completely unwilling to cooperate or compromise in any way for any reason.


ISTM that undocumented immigrants would be pretty hesitant to register for this when there’s a possibility that a new president could just reverse the decision in a few months. Then all the info the INS needs to round 'em up is conveniently available.

So he’ll act like our Democrat president who has already taken that action?
This is what pisses me off about this, why do we even have a congress if a president can just declare something this big by fiat?

What do you think he’s doing exactly?

Something this big is a pretty grand way to describe,* easing off deporting* some young people who meet some very specific standards. Do you think this is about citizenship or amnesty?

He’ll do what he chooses regardless of what the Democrats do.

Well, yes, actually. What else could it be? It’s a play for votes.

And, it also seems to be something he said he couldn’t do.

“Easing off deporting people” is simply this: Ignoring the law. The President should not do that.

It’s not about amnesty or citizenship, for one. You do know that both those things are words that have specific meanings in this context, right?

And directing the focus of deportation procedures seems to be within his powers. He’s already refocused on deporting criminals.

And he’s not changing a law, so your contention that he is absurd.

Is the president easing off deporting people, or is he just changing his administration’s focus on which people to deport? So long as there aren’t enough resources to deport all illegal immigrants, doesn’t the executive branch have a responsibility to determine where enforcement efforts should be targeted?

And any even partly-effective effort to do so would be horribly disruptive to the American economy.