The DREAM Act's spot in Congressional limbo has frustrated Americans on both sides of the aisle, all of whom are eager to see the fate of young illegal immigrants settled. On Friday, President Obama used the power of executive order to sidestep the potential futility of introducing new legislation to Congress or urging them to reconsider the DREAM Act.
Through his order, the President has offered a short-term solution to securing the status of young immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally before they were 16. In order to qualify for a work permit and amnesty from deportation, these young men and women must fulfill certain conditions--such as having spent at least five conscutive years in the states, having no criminal record, and having earned a high school diploma or conducted service in the military.
According to the Los Angeles Times, critics of the President's policy allege that this order was a political maneuver to secure the Hispanic vote in his bid for re-election. The paper reports that AZ Gov. Jan Brewer, notoriously tough on the issue of illegal immigration, called the Executive's actions "unconstitutional."
Obama's announcement put Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in a tough position. Romney trails in popularity among Hispanic voters, yet must cater to a political base--the right--who believe that a pathway to citizenship after illegal entry is an undue reward.
CBS reports Romney's that response to his bind was to criticize Obama's solution as too short term. Rather than commit to overriding the policy if elected to office, he maintained that the long-term solutions he would provide would render any current policy irrelevant.
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