Deferred action has always been available to immigrants for special or humanitarian reasons, and law enforcement at every governmental level has always enjoyed so-called prosecutorial discretion. However, we have never seen a deferred action program systematized and boiled down to a simple application process like this before. Law abiding American citizens should worry that the “DREAM Deferred Action” program may be around for a long time.
The Deferred Action program is called a “temporary” program, but it can last a long, long time. Authorized by Section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, it gives the President power to designate countries suffering from natural disasters, wars, or internal turmoil. Once designated, citizens of those countries who are residing in the U.S. (there are always strict time, physical presence, and criminal background requirements) are able to apply for temporary status or TPS. Although it is not a path to permanent residence or citizenship, once a country is designated, it takes a long time before its Sect. 244 status is removed.
For example, Honduras was designated for TPS in 1999 after a hurricane. Honduran citizens in the U.S. at the time of the designation could apply for TPS. That was 13 years ago and Honduras still gets designated for the TPS program about every 18 months.
A glaring difference in granting TPS to DREAMERs is the timing which is clearly politically calculated to maximize the benefit to Obama during the re-election season.
We are all sympathetic to the difficult immigration circumstances of those who come to the U.S. illegally as children. However, this is not a proper solution. The Deferred Action raises a lot of legitimate concerns about its far-reaching consequences particularly to the states. Obama claims that only his Administration and the federal government have the authority to establish immigration policy. But in this action he is asking states to “handle” the implementation of granting state IDs, scholarships, and other benefits to persons who are still illegal aliens. The actual intent of this action seems to be to create political upheaval in those states who want him to enforce immigration laws.
Immigration law is complicated enough, and the Deferred Action has only confused matters more. The “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007” was defeat by both Republicans and Democrats, and Obama could have re-introduced in Congress when the Democrats held a super majority in 2008-2010.
Obama’s political cynicism has hit a new low, and with the help of the liberal media and particularly the Spanish language media, he is getting away with it. He has provided temporary work permits to illegal aliens who will compete for jobs with citizens can’t find one. Furthermore, with a state issued ID, will these Dreamers now be able to register to vote? This program designed to help Obama’s re-election, and not address a complicated issue.
President, South Texas Political Alliance