On Friday, President Obama announced that his administration would no longer seek to deport young people who entered the U.S. illegally as children but grew up to attend U.S. schools and serve in the military. "Effective immediately, up to 800,000 young people living in the U.S. illegally will no longer be subject to automatic deportation," the president said.
The young people affected by the temporary measure are those who were brought to the United States before age 16 and have remained for at least five years without leaving. They must also be under the age of 30, with no criminal history. And they must have a U.S. high school diploma, or its equivalent, or have served in the U.S. military.
The change in policy has not been formally adopted by Congress, bringing criticism from Republicans who said the president is abusing his power by implementing it. 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney called for a long-term solution that would provide more "certainty and clarity" for young immigrants.
"This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It's not a permanent fix. This is a temporary, stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people." - President Barack Obama
"So, I'm undocumented, and I lived in the state of Alabama for 13 years. I graduated in 2010. And I was accepted to various universities in Alabama and across the Southeast, but I was unable to attend any of them because I was undocumented. With this announcement, with the news, this is the most important day of my life." - Victor Pealafox, undocumented immigrant
1. What does the term 'undocumented' mean to you?
2. Why do you need things like a social security number and documentation that you are a U.S. citizen? What do you use those things for?
3. How do laws go into effect in the U.S.? Who can make laws?
1. Why do you think President Obama issued this Executive Order? Do you think it’s a good thing? Why or why not?
2. What do the Republicans and Mitt Romney mean when they say they support a more long-term solution for young undocumented people?
3. How would your life so far have been different if you had been undocumented?
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