Obama Administration Changes Policy to Stop Deportation of Young Illegal Immigrants

June 16, 2012

One of my chief complaints about the Obama administration (of which there are only a few, mind you) is their relative silence on the immigration debate. Immigration policy in this country is extremely broken, and one of the reasons I supported Obama’s candidacy in 2008 was based on the promise of immigration reform.

Today, the president addressed immigration with the announcement that he had signed an Executive Order to halt the deportation of young illegal immigrants. Under the new policy, those who entered the country illegally while 16 or younger, who are currently 30 or younger, who have lived in the U.S. continuously for up to five years, and who can demonstrate a successful academic or military history in this country, can delay deportation proceedings for up to two years and can also apply for a work permit, which would grant them legal (non-citizen) status.

As an Asian-American, I am particularly excited by this announcement. A significant percentage (69% in 2000) of Asian Americans are foreign-born immigrants; thus, any change in immigration policy will substantially impact our community. More specifically however, Asians make up the second largest illegal immigrant population at 1.4 million (and represent ~13% of all illegal immigrants). Although statistics are understandably hard to come by, the majority of Asian illegal immigrants are believed to be visa overstays, who remain in the country after their tourist or student visas have expired, and often to raise young families. Consequently, the number of young Asian illegal immigrants whose parents brought them into this country at a young age and who would be affected by President Obama’s announcement could be significant. When California legalized enrollment of young illegal immigrants into the UC school system in 2o01, an estimated 40% of undocumented students in that state were of Asian descent by 2005.

In my mind, President Obama’s press conference today was a landmark announcement that brings us one step closer not only to realizing the DREAM Act, but which will also reinvigorate the immigration debate. It signals the administration’s ongoing interest in reforming immigration policy so that it is motivated less by irrational, racial and ethnic xenophobia and conservative fear-mongering, and is based more on encouraging the influx and retention of immigrants based on their demonstrated skill and education. This can only benefit America: attracting more potential business-owners, scientists, and engineers will stimulate the American economy by enhancing the quality of its workforce.

Way to go, President Obama. I, for one, totally approve.

One thought on “Obama Administration Changes Policy to Stop Deportation of Young Illegal Immigrants

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


8 × = forty eight

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Comment Policy

Before posting, please review the following guidelines:

  • No ad hominem attacks: A person's identity or background is not up for debate.
  • Be courteous: Respect everyone else in this space.
  • Present evidence: This space endeavours to encourage academic and rational debate around identity politics. Do your best to build an argument backed not just with your own ideas, but also with science.
  • Don't be pedantic: Listen to those debating you not just for places to attack, but also where you might learn and even change your own opinion. Repeatedly arguing the same point irrespective of presented counterfacts will now be considered a violation of this site's comment policy.
  • Respect the humanity of all groups: To elevate the quality of debate, this site will no longer tolerate (racial, cultural, gender, etc.) supremacist or inferiority lines of argumentation. There are other places on the internet where nationalist arguments can be expressed; this blog is not those places.
  • Don't be an asshole: If you think your behaviour would get you punched in the face outside of the internets, don't say it on the internets.

Did your comment not appear right away? Here are some common reasons why:

  • Is it your first time commenting? All first-time commenters are reviewed by me before being approved.
  • Does your comment contain 3+ links? All comments containing 3+ links are held for moderation to ensure they are not spam. If you are otherwise an approved commenter, avoid hitting the moderation wall by breaking comments with multiple links into several comments.
  • Did you not play nice? You may have gotten banned. Sorry.

I monitor all comment threads, and try to approve comments held for moderation within 24-48 hours. Comments that violate this comment policy may receive a warning and removal of offensive content; overt or repeat violations are subject to deletion and/or banning of comment authors without warning.

I reserve final decision over how this comment policy will be enforced.

Summary:

Play nice and don't be a jerk, and you'll do just fine.