President Obama gives hope to immigrant youth

President Obama issued an Executive Order today giving hope to young people who were brought to the US as children. New York Times reports:

The policy, effective immediately, will apply to people who are currently no more than 30 years old, who arrived in the country before they turned 16 and have lived in the United States for five years. They must also have no criminal record, and have earned a high school diploma, be in school or have served in the military.

These qualifications resemble in some ways those of the so-called Dream Act, a measure blocked by Congress in 2010 that was geared to establish a path toward citizenship for certain young illegal immigrants. The administration's action on Friday, which stops deportations but does not offer citizenship or even permanent legal status, was a policy directive from the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration enforcement, and does not require legislation.

Sojourners emailed supporters today
Today the Obama administration announced that many young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children will be eligible for work permits -- allowing them to come out of the shadows of looming deportation.

In response to the announcement, Jim Wallis said:

“The announcement from the White House today is very good news for nearly 1 million young people who have a dream of staying in the country where they have lived most of their lives. Instead of being placed in the deportation pipeline, they will receive work permits, enabling them to contribute to the nation and help build America’s future.”

This week a very broad and deep group of evangelical leaders called on the political leaders of both parties to fix the U.S.’s broken immigration system and protect “the stranger” whom Christ calls us to defend (Matthew 25:35). We believe our faithful witness, alongside the courage and perseverance of thousands of documented and undocumented youth, helped made today’s announcement a reality.

Show your support for this action through the Episcopal Public Policy Network where you can send a letter to thank Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

Comments (12)

By all means. Thank you, Mr. President, or should I say Your Majesty, for plowing under the Constitution and laws of this country in order to pander for reelection votes.

Wonderful news that will allow thousands of young people to move forward with their lives. We will all benefit. Congratulations to the brave DREAM Act kids who spoke out for for this cause at some risk to themselves.

Now, for comprehensive reform.

I have to agree with Christopher. Everything that he has said and done in the past couple of months smell of pandering, and I voted for him in 08.

Correct me if I'm wrong. But, isn't President Obama a politician who holds a political office in a political system? If so, everything he and other politicians do is political. Since this was not an Executive Order, but only an act of prosecutorial discretion, it does not disregard the law. He later clarified that this was not an Executive Order as previously reported. This announcement may not please conservatives, but it aligns nicely with my Christian values.

The law says to detain and deport undocumented individuals. With this "discretion", he is disregarding the law. He pandered to get the Hispanic vote, plain and simple. And thanks for pointing out the obvious btw,I don't think it was needed.

I don't care why he did it -- all I know is all the kids who were brought here by their parents now have fierce joy and hope! Kids who were doomed to low pay jobs after high school can now see a bright future - they work hard, get good grades, fluent in 2 (at least) languages - who would not want them in the US? This is the only home many have known.

It's never the wrong time to do the right thing ... a right thing we urged in GCResolution B006:

Resolved, That in as much as youth are a priority of The Episcopal Church, the 76th General Convention support the provision of conditional legal status for undocumented youth who arrived as infants and/or children and have grown up as members of our communities and schools, providing for them the opportunity to pursue higher education and/or serve the United States so they can become full contributing members of our communities and could eventually become U.S. Citizens.

Susan Russell
Diocese of Los Angeles

There are plenty of resolutions passed by GC that not everyone supports. It doesn't mean much to me or to the average Episcopalian. Most of us are busy attending to the needs of others and trying to be better Christians, not what GC passes or don't pass.

Being a better Christian means being the hands and feet of Jesus. Helping undocumented youth who were brought here by their parents and virtually raised as Americans, and who have little if any recollection of their home country is the right thing to do. Jesus stood up against injustice, so standing up against injustice is being a better Christian.

People have different point of views on what is considered an "injustice".

I would have hoped that we had gotten past "the sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the heads of the children unto the seventh generation" stuff.

Apparently some of us still hold to it. What a pity...

There are plenty of resolutions passed by GC that not everyone supports. It doesn't mean much to me

Fine, can't please everybody.

... or to the average Episcopalian.

Waitaminnit. The Episcopal Church functions through GC as representative democracy. If you're going to charge GC w/ not reflecting "the average Episcopalian", Nicole, you better be able to back that up w/ evidence!

JC Fisher
...who's been in the minority via GC *plenty* of times over my lifetime. Didn't mean GC wasn't representing the "average Episcopalian" those times. Just not me.

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