Today the President has shown true courage in granting deferred deportation actions for our best and brightest undocumented youth. He has shown true leadership by allowing younger undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives, the ability to defer their deportation for two years and apply for work permits. This is a tremendous achievement; the real question is will the Republican Party join the President in moving forward on these common sense fixes for our broken immigration system.
The President has said that he would utilize all of his power to fix our broken immigration system. President Obama has been an advocate of the DREAM Act for some time. In a speech today from the Rose garden he said about the immigrants who are eligible for the DREAM Act:
"These are young people who went to our schools, played in our neighborhoods. They are Americans in their hearts, in their hearts, their minds in every single way but one, on paper. Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine you have done everything right your entire life... only to suddenly face the threat of deportation. If your parents brought you here, going to college or serve military, one day you can earn citizenship. Send me the DREAM Act, put it on my desk, and I will sign it right away."
To be clear on the DREAM Act the Republican Party has been nowhere; that sound you hear coming from Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney is silence. However let's examine Mitt Romney's solution for those children brought to the United States, without their consent, children who are talented, patriotic and only want to help our country be great, is self deportation.
The Republican Party has done everything they possibly could to stop any forward movement on fixing our broken immigration system. In the silence that has been Mitt Romney's contribution to this lets see what House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King had to say on all of this:
"I am very concerned about efforts to administratively implement amnesty for countless illegal aliens under the age of 30. It is vital that US borders are secure prior to any consideration of amnesty proposals."
To be clear this is not amnesty, it is wholly consistent with the rule of law, and it is a part of a much larger effort of the White House to make our immigration system better. The White House has utilized parts of a prosecutorial discretion memo which was drafted in August of last year, to provide relief for DREAMers. Essentially the administration is concentrating on deporting criminal aliens, not the best and brightest of undocumented immigrants currently in the country.
The reality is the President's actions are merely the tip of the iceberg in his quest to create a better immigration system for our country. The President has invested in our border to increase safety, increased legal immigration and trade, and has lowered the number of undocumented immigrants entering the country. Quite simply this administration has done a lot to fix an anachronistic immigration system which no longer works for our country. The Republican Party has done nothing but play politics with the issue or worse, said nothing. It would do the country much good if the likes of Mitt Romney and Florida Senator Marco Rubio would come out and say anything on this issue. Sadly Hispanic voters asking themselves what will the GOP do on immigration, the answer is most likely, nothing.