Monday, June 18, 2012

Reason #216: Cessation

Showing nothing short of contempt for both Congress' authority and Space Fridays, President Obama on Friday announced that after deporting more illegal immigrants than any president since the 50's, his administration was immediately ceasing the deportation of anyone under thirty--with clean work, school or military records--who came here under the age of sixteen and had been here for at least five years already.

While neglecting to enforce a policy it doesn't agree with isn't the same as enacting a different policy (nor is it unheard of for this administration), the move was an unexpected burst of sunlight over a population of nearly one million young illegal immigrants brought here by their parents, many of whom are pursuing an education (or even military service) despite the constant threat that they'll be forcibly removed from the country.

As Obama himself pointed out, this isn't amnesty, and it isn't a path to citizenship. What it is, I think, is a simple acknowledgement of reality, and a refusal to compound our problems by commiting an even greater injustice against some of our best and brightest young people because of a crime they had no part in.

Many are pointing out the other reality here; that the move will almost certainly boost Obama's already-strong support among Hispanic voters, the same way coming out for gay marriage did with that group. To which I say - whatever gets the job done. If only every year was an election year.

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