President Obama Leads After Republicans Obstruct
This morning, the Obama administration made a hugely important announcement that will impact the lives of nearly 1 MILLION young undocumented students. It will allow them to avoid deportation and seek work authorization. While comprehensive immigration reform legislation is still necessary, today’s announcement is a welcome step forward on on the issue.
ThinkProgress’ Amanda Beadle has the details of today’s announcement:
Under the “deferred action” policy, a Department of Homeland Security directive, students in the U.S. who are already in deportation proceedings or those who qualify for the DREAM Act and have yet to come forward to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials, will not be deported and will be allowed to work in the United States.
An estimated 1 million young people could benefit from the deferral. To be eligible, applicants have to be between 15 and 30 years old, live in the U.S. for five years, and maintain continuous U.S. residency. People who have one felony, one serious misdemeanor, or three minor misdemeanors will be ineligible to apply. “Deferred action” will last for two years and can be renewed.
Republicans blocked the DREAM Act in 2010, and this year, House Judiciary Committee Chair Lamar Smith (R-TX) has already said he would not hold a hearing on the DREAM Act in his committee.
And Travis Waldron explains why DREAM is good for the economy, contrary to assertions from man on the right:
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the DREAM Act — which Republicans blocked in 2010 — would increase federal revenues by $1.7 billion over the next 10 years, reducing federal deficits by $2.2 billion over that time. DREAM-eligible students would generate between $1.4 and $3.6 trillion in taxable income over the course of their working lives, according to a study by UCLA’s North American Integration and Development Center.
DREAM-eligible youth could also help fill the 16 million shortfall of college-educated workers that is expected to hit the U.S. by 2025, and with 31.5 percent of science and engineering graduates coming from Latino backgrounds, Obama’s decision could add252,000 new scientists, engineers, and technical workers to the nation’s dwindling supply in those fields.
The decision will help raise wages for American workers too. “As long as a cheap, compliant pool of undocumented labor is available, employers have every reason to take advantage of the situation, keeping wages as low as possible,” Cristina Jimenez wrote in the American Prospect in 2010. “Only when undocumented immigrants have the ability to exercise complete workplace rights will they help exert upward pressure on wages and labor standards that will benefit other workers.”
These benefits are obvious even to leading Republicans. “The economy will be betterwhen that [undocumented] kid is able to fully realize his potential and break the pattern of his parent’s illegal activity,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said in 2010. Obama’s decision isn’t just good because it protects young adults who have spent most of their lives establishing homes in the United States, it’s good because it will help our struggling economy too.
IN ONE SENTENCE: Obama’s announcement will create a smart policy to help protect young adults at risk of deportation who have spent years establishing their homes in the United States while boosting the U.S. economy.
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed
Rep. Allen West (R-FL) says President Obama’s DREAM announcement is just another voter fraud plot.
Vehemently anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King (R-IA) says he’ll sue President Obama over his DREAM announcement.
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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said “corporations are not people” and also accused a top Romney Super PAC donor of injecting “foreign money” into the election.
A former Romney adviser said that Republicans are “rooting against the economy.”
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Media, pop culture, and youth of America blamed for national incivility.
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