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DREAMers Welcome Obama’s Immigration Shift, But Pledge Caution

Posted: Jun 18, 2012

 Nearly a million undocumented youth won a historic reprieve Friday when President Obama announced an initiative to end the deportations of those who would be eligible for the federal DREAM Act. The move came on the heels of aggressive actions and a groundswell of public support demanding exactly such a fix. Yet many activists long accustomed to hearing Obama promise humane immigration policy on one hand and do exactly the opposite say they cannot afford to give up their vigilance.

“This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship,” Obama said Friday, in a preemptive response to those on the right, who, before the day was over already pledge to sue him, and called the announcement an effective get out of deportation free card.

“It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stop gap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief to talented, driven, patriotic young people.”

Obama said the fix was necessary in the absence of the DREAM Act a narrow legalization bill for undocumented youth who were raised in the country, clear a host of hurdles and commit two years to the military or higher education. “It makes no sense to expel talented young people who for all intents and purposes are Americans,” Obama said. The White House estimates that some 800,000 could benefit from the policy, yet according to Pew, relief could be available to up to 1.4 million youth. Read more here

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