Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, who demonstrate that they meet certain criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization. The Administration did not consult with Congress before unilaterally making this major change to America's immigration policy.
The Obama Administration's policy will apply to people who are currently under 30 years old, who arrived in the country before they turned 16 and have lived here for at least five years.
Unfortunately for younger Americans, today's announcement further increases the number of job applicants in a demographic that has suffered from disproportionately high levels of unemployment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 41 percent of the nation's decline in full-time jobs over the past four years was among Americans under the age of 25 - those younger than 35 years-old account for 65 percent of the decline in full-time unemployment.
Statement from Congressman Tim Griffin
"Circumventing Congress and unilaterally granting amnesty work permits to nearly 1,000,000 illegal immigrants ignores the law and insults the 23.2 million Americans in need of work. This is yet another example of how President Obama's policies are making our economy worse. Just last September, President Obama addressed this very issue, admitting that he can't 'just change the laws unilaterally.' It is clear today's decision is all about presidential politics and his reelection."
Statement from Senator John Boozman
"Once again, President Obama has ignored Congress, the will of the American people and our legal system in an effort to win political points. Serious immigration reform is long overdue, but this is not reform. Instead it is a huge step backwards. I intend to fight this misguided, partisan move by the President," Boozman said.