Yesterday, President Obama announced that the US would allow hundreds of thousands (800,000, give or take) of young illegal immigrants to remain in the country without fear of deportation. They will also be granted work permits so that they can legally work.
Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions that the right side has about this executive action is that these people will not be American citizens. The number of angry posts I’ve read written by conservative bloggers complaining about how Obama only wanted to keep these people here for votes is ridiculous- legally, illegal immigrants cannot vote.
I believe that this is a huge step in the right direction for the United States. While it is certainly not the exact provisions laid out in the DREAM Act, we certainly are on the right track.
These children had no say in their fate- we cannot punish them for the illegal actions of their parents. Furthermore, this “immunity” is not granted to whoever wants it: there are several requirements that a person must fulfill in order to be pardoned, namely:
1) Arrival in the US before the age of 16
2) Residence in the US for at least 5 years
3) High school graduate
4) No criminal record
These children have grown up here, and they have pledged their allegiances to the United States. They are committed to helping the US grow as a country, and we are no one to hinder that process.
One interesting point that was brought up by the right side concerned the unemployment rate, which currently resides at 8.2%. Many are flabbergasted that Obama would make such a ruling that would allow illegal immigrants to work when so many Americans are out of work, but there’s one key point that we need to keep in mind here.
The state of Alabama recently passed a piece of legislature prohibiting any workers from working without proper documentation. As a result, there were no (or very very few) illegal immigrants working in Alabama farms. Farm owners stated that the Americans that they hired did not have as strong of a work ethic as the immigrants, and that most quit after a few days. The state of Alabama lost over $2 billion from this.
So what can we conclude from that story? There are some jobs that American citizens just won’t fill. $2 billion is a massive amount of money for just one state to lose- imagine how big of an impact it could make on larger states with more prominent farming industries.
Finally America, a step in the right direction when it comes to how to deal with illegal immigrants.
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