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Updated 10:29 a.m. - The Obama administration announced on Friday that it would no longer seek the deportation of most young illegal immigrants, and would instead allow them to apply for work permits, a significant policy shift with potentially major electoral implications.

The Department of Homeland Security said that, effective immediately, the government would no longer seek the deportation of illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, and would allow them to apply for work permits if they meet certain criteria.

“Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Advertise | AdChoices“But they are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case. Nor are they designed to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language. Discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here.”The announcement represented a major policy shift, and its political implications will be significant.

Time Magazine focuses on undocumented immigration in the U.S. in its latest issue with an article by writer Jose Antonio Vargas, who publicly revealed he is an undocumented immigrant. Time's Rick Stengel joins Morning Joe to discuss.The shift essentially accomplishes many of the legislative intentions of the DREAM Act, an immigration reform bill that had stalled in Congress due to Republican objections. President Barack Obama favors the legislation, while presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has said he would veto that law.The new rule comes amid a bruising election year fight between Obama and Romney, in which the Latino vote could be decisive. Obama enjoys a strong advantage with Latino voters, winning 61 percent of Latinos to 27 percent for Romney in a mid-May NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll.The Hispanic vote is of particular importance in swing states like Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Florida, among others. Those states could swing the election toward Obama or Romney, elevating the importance of the margin between the two candidates with Latino voters.Obama's biggest challenge, though, has involved motivating Latino voters to turn out for him with the same strength they had in 2008. The president had faced lingering complaints stemming from his inability to advance the comprehensive immigration reform he had promised as a candidate in 2008.The president was scheduled to make remarks about the change at the White House at 1:15 p.m. ET on Friday.In a memorandum to immigration enforcement officials, Napolitano wrote that immigrants who were illegally brought to the United States as children "lacked the intent to violate the law," and pose few national security risks.The memo said the government would not pursue immigrants who met five criteria. Individuals must 1. Have come to the United States under the age of 16, 2. Be no older than 30, 3. Be currently enrolled in school, have graduated high school or served in the military, 4. Have been in the country for five continuous years, and 5. Have a clean criminal record.

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Yes...I am and so should the entire country be mad. And before the racist term starts getting thrown around.....I AM NOT.

But...as president of the United States of America you have taken a vote to enforce the laws of America, uphold the constitution and do what is best for America and it's citizens.

Instead...Obama is playing the role of dictator, ruler, king by bypassing our elected congress in forcing his will on America.

Edited by falconmaniac
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This is a good start at a realistic way of addressing the immigration issue. I've been hoping Obama would just do what he needs to do grow a back bone and actually do something.

It is more than obvious that nothing Obama tries that goes through congress and the senate will ever be passed because of Repub and filibusters so it's almost pointless for him to try.

Repubs are just so obvious, they block anything Obama does then blame him when nothing changes and then they start the cycle over again.

Obama really needs to just ignore them and do what ne needs to do within his power to get things done.

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This is a good start at a realistic way of addressing the immigration issue. I've been hoping Obama would just do what he needs to do grow a back bone and actually do something.

It is more than obvious that nothing Obama tries that goes through congress and the senate will ever be passed because of Repub and filibusters so it's almost pointless for him to try.

Repubs are just so obvious, they block anything Obama does then blame him when nothing changes and then they start the cycle over again.

Obama really needs to just ignore them and do what ne needs to do within his power to get things done.

?????????You do realize that that is how our government is supposed to work, right????

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Yes...I am and so should the entire country be mad. And before the racist term starts getting thrown around.....I AM NOT.

But...as president of the United States of America you have taken a vote to enforce the laws of America, uphold the constitution and do what is best for America and it's citizens.

Instead...Obama is playing the role of dictator, ruler, king by bypassing our elected congress in forcing his will on America.

Um, what law did he violate in making this decision. You realize that the president is in charge of the INS and he is responsible for setting regulatory policy, right? I swear it seems like some right-wingers think that every executive decision must be made by Congress...but funnily enough, they only believe that when the Republicans control some part of Congress.

What are your thoughts about Bush's warrantless wiretapping policy and the way that decision was made?

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?????????You do realize that that is how our government is supposed to work, right????

yes....they are supposed to do the will of the people and according to the polls I have seen, the majority of Americans favor immigration reform and don't think that children brought here illegally should be treated as criminals.

everyone in here will tell you I am no Obama fan, but the Republicans have ignored the will of the people in this matter

Edited by Dago 3.0
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Um, what law did he violate in making this decision. You realize that the president is in charge of the INS and he is responsible for setting regulatory policy, right? I swear it seems like some right-wingers think that every executive decision must be made by Congress...but funnily enough, they only believe that when the Republicans control some part of Congress.

What are your thoughts about Bush's warrantless wiretapping policy and the way that decision was made?

Yea I don't get it, repubs think EVERYTHING Obama does has to go by senate and congress but then blame him for everything?

The President can makes these types of decisions by himself without congress or the senate. That is why we actually elect a President cause there are some thing they can do on their own. If a President had no power to do anything we would not even need to bother having one.

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Yea I don't get it, repubs think EVERYTHING Obama does has to go by senate and congress but then blame him for everything?

The President can makes these types of decisions by himself without congress or the senate. That is why we actually elect a President cause there are some thing they can do on their own. If a President had no power to do anything we would not even need to bother having one.

Exactly. I agree that presidential power has grown too large and the president is more independent than he should be. However, a regulatory decision about how immigration laws are enforced is perfectly within the powers of the presidency.

Suppose Obama wanted to give the federal workforce half a day off for Christmas Eve. Does he need to have Congress pass a bill for that? This whole criticism is just silly.

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Um, what law did he violate in making this decision. You realize that the president is in charge of the INS and he is responsible for setting regulatory policy, right? I swear it seems like some right-wingers think that every executive decision must be made by Congress...but funnily enough, they only believe that when the Republicans control some part of Congress.

What are your thoughts about Bush's warrantless wiretapping policy and the way that decision was made?

What law did he violate???? Every immigration law in the books.

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Yes...I am and so should the entire country be mad. And before the racist term starts getting thrown around.....I AM NOT.

But...as president of the United States of America you have taken a vote to enforce the laws of America, uphold the constitution and do what is best for America and it's citizens.

Instead...Obama is playing the role of dictator, ruler, king by bypassing our elected congress in forcing his will on America.

Why would someone use a race card here? Illegal immigrants come from Canada, France, Russia, and Germany. Methinks thou doth protest too much.

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What law did he violate???? Every immigration law in the books.

Huh? Unless you're a birther, it's not Obama who is here without a VISA. Stop making these silly extremist "every law in the books" claims and actually try to make a coherent argument for once.

Obama made a decision about which immigration cases the INS should focus its resources on. How has he subverted Congress or violated some law in doing that?/

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?????????You do realize that that is how our government is supposed to work, right????

When everything gets filibustered to death out of pure spite then the president has the ability to enact executive orders to bypass this in order to get things done and to make law enforcement more efficient and sensible. So, yes, this is how the government is supposed to work.

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When everything gets filibustered to death out of pure spite then the president has the ability to enact executive orders to bypass this in order to get things done and to make law enforcement more efficient and sensible. So, yes, this is how the government is supposed to work.

Only if he is within his constitutional authority. He can't create legislation wholesale with an executive order. But he can tell an agency to focus resources on one area of regulation instead of another area.

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This is a good start at a realistic way of addressing the immigration issue. I've been hoping Obama would just do what he needs to do grow a back bone and actually do something.

It is more than obvious that nothing Obama tries that goes through congress and the senate will ever be passed because of Repub and filibusters so it's almost pointless for him to try.

Repubs are just so obvious, they block anything Obama does then blame him when nothing changes and then they start the cycle over again.

Obama really needs to just ignore them and do what ne needs to do within his power to get things done.

This has actually been my main critisism of him. He lets the repubs get away with a bully pulpit entirely too often. The GOP has become an entity who have one political agenda in mind: blocking anything and everything the dems or Obama bring to the table. And I blame Obama for letting them do this, even when the Dems had a majority he allowed it.

Edited by TheThinker
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This has actually been my main critisism of him. He lets the repubs get away with a bully pulpit entirely too often. The GOP has become an entity who have one political agenda in mind: blocking anything and everything the dems or Obama bring to the table. And I blame Obama for letting him do this, even when the Dems had a majority he allowed it.

Yep, I hope in his second term he grows a **** backbone tells repubs to F off and actually does some things.

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