U.S. Sen. David Vitter, chairman of the U.S. Senate Border Security and Enforcement First Immigration Caucus, today made the following statement in response to the White House announcement that the federal government will halt the deportation of as many as 800,000 illegal immigrants under the age of 30 who arrived here when they were 16 or younger.
"President Obama still isn't serious about immigration reform -- just the politics of it. Serious immigration reform leadership would first focus on securing our border and enforcing the laws already on the books. And it certainly wouldn't be granting blanket amnesty before tackling those first two big challenges," Vitter said. "Like other DREAM Act proposals before, President Obama's executive action goes well beyond helping minor children caught in a policy loophole -- it essentially grants amnesty to adults almost 30 years old."
According to explanations of the Department of Homeland Security's plan, illegal aliens brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30 can remain in the United States if they have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed.