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Is Obama Right to Grant Young Illegal Immigrants Work Permits?

Is Obama Right to Grant Young Illegal Immigrants Work Permits?

Friday, President Obama announced changes to Department of Homeland Security policy that would allow certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children the opportunity to apply for a two-year stay that would shield them from deportation. Under the proposal, illegal immigrants under 30 years of age who came to the America illegally before they were 16 will be protected from deportation and can apply for a two-year work visa (which can be renewed indefinitely) given that they have lived in the United States continuously for at least five years, have not committed any crimes, have a high school diploma (or GED equivalent), or have served (or are currently serving) in the military. Obama said the plan is not a permanent solution, as it does not provide a path to citizenship for the young immigrants, but rather a stopgap measure until he and Congress can pass long-term comprehensive immigration reform.

The president's executive order resembles the stipulations put forth by the DREAM Act, an immigration reform bill that would allow for young immigrants with similar qualifications a path to citizenship. The legislation once had bipartisan support but was stalled in the Senate. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio was working on his own version of immigration reform, called "DREAM Act lite" by some, that had gotten the support of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Obama's announcement pre-empted such a measure; Rubio said he would no longer be pushing his legislation before the election and his spokesperson condemned Obama for derailing Rubio's efforts.

Supporters of Obama's policy say that it will allow talented young people, undocumented through no fault of their own, to step out of the shadows and contribute to American society. Opponents say that it amounts to amnesty, which could encourage more illegal immigrations, and that Obama was wrong to sidestep Congress. Is Obama right to grant young illegal immigrants work permits? Here is the Debate Club's take:


The Arguments

#1
2,930 Pts
Obama Policy Is Positive Step, But Could Delay Real Reform

Yes – Obama Policy Is Positive Step, But Could Delay Real Reform

Alex Nowrasteh Immigration Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute

#2
2,840 Pts
Obama's Executive Order Is Good News, But Not the Solution
#3
2,824 Pts
Obama's Immigration Policy Will Grow the Economy

Yes – Obama's Immigration Policy Will Grow the Economy

Marshall Fitz Director of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress

#4
-2,920 Pts
White House Lacks Authority to Implement Immigration Laws That Congress Won't

No – White House Lacks Authority to Implement Immigration Laws That Congress Won't

Matthew Spalding Director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at the Heritage Foundation

#5
-3,003 Pts
Obama is Using Latinos As Pawns in His Game of Political Chess

No – Obama is Using Latinos As Pawns in His Game of Political Chess

Luis Alvarado Political Analyst for CNN Español and Telemundo

#6
-3,044 Pts
President Obama's Immigration Policy Is Unconstitutional
#7
-4,499 Pts
Presidents Can't Rule by Decree

No – Presidents Can't Rule by Decree

Mark Krikorian Author of 'The New Case Against Immigration, Both Legal and Illegal' and 'How Obama is Transforming America Through Immigration'

#8
-4,945 Pts
Work Permits for Young Immigrants Steal Jobs From Americans

No – Work Permits for Young Immigrants Steal Jobs From Americans

Roy Beck Founder and President of NumbersUSA


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