President Obama deported more immigrants in the last three years than President Bush in eight years. Last week President Obama announced a new program to help undocumented young people stay in the country.
The new program would help younger people study, work and continue in the military. The government will review the records of up to 1.4 million undocumented people under age 30. Those with clean records will be eligible for the program for two years.
Young immigrants were very happy about the program. They feel they can now plan for the future without having to worry about deportation. At least, they say, for now.
The Department of Homeland Security is in charge of the program. An effort to review deportation cases covered by the Secure Communities Act is going very slowly. They have cleared only two percent of 411,000 adult cases under review. Many observers say the department is not sympathetic to immigrants.
The new program was issued by executive order. The next President can revoke it.
Republicans charge Mr. Obama is playing immigration politics by courting the Latino vote. One Republican congressman said he would sue to have the order stopped. Mitt Romney will be the Republican candidate for President. He is said to be a “hard liner’ on immigration. He has not taken a clear position on the new program.
Democrats say the President is “doing the right thing.” He is increasing the opportunities of young people and stopping the deportation of illegals who did not commit crimes.
Either way, immigrants are cautious. Promises to them have been made before. Opponents continue to say illegal immigration threatens the nation’s economy.