Closer to reality now: Obama action today enacts much of the DREAM Act

While Congress failed to act on the DREAM Act, much of its goals were realized today with the new immigration policy approved by the President. (AP Photo)

While Congress failed to enact the DREAM Act, much of the bill's goals were realized today with the new immigration policy approved by the President. (AP Photo)

Someone mentioned the improved civility on the blog, in part because I am moderating and banning now with greater alacrity, and, in part, because we haven’t had many hot button issues that bring out the worst in posters.

Well, here comes one.

As reported in the AJC:

The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of an influential Latino electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies.

The policy change, announced Friday by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, a long-sought but never enacted plan to establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally but who have attended college or served in the military.

Here is one of the first reactions out of the gate from an education organization on the President’s action:

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten:

“All children deserve access to a quality public education and a fair shot at realizing their dreams. President Obama has given hope to young people who have demonstrated good citizenship by pursuing college or protecting our nation. The nearly 1 million youths affected by this decision have done everything our society has asked them to do. They have worked hard, studied hard, and are pursuing college educations. These young immigrants are our students, and they deserve a chance to become productive members of our society without living with constant fear and uncertainty.

“It is certainly appropriate that the president’s action comes on the 30th anniversary of the historic Plyler v. Doe decision, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it was against the law to deny children access to public education, regardless of their citizenship or that of their parents. Now more than ever, Congress needs to pass the DREAM Act and give hardworking students a path toward legal permanent status and, eventually, citizenship. Maintaining barriers to their success does nothing to benefit our economy, our national security or our collective well-being.”

And from the Georgia House Democrats:

“The United States is a nation of immigrants, and the youngest members of our society deserve understanding and compassion.  These are young people educated in our schools or serving in our military,” said House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams. “Deporting hardworking, responsible and law-abiding young people is unjust; and I am pleased to see that the Obama administration has eased deportation rules that benefit no one.”

“Creating a path to citizenship for undocumented students should be priority of this nation, and this is a critical first step,” said Rep. Pedro Marin. “This new policy will affect as many as 800,00 immigrants who have lived the past years in fear of deportation. I cheer President Obama for his decision to halt deportations of young undocumented immigrants.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

130 comments Add your comment

NTLB

June 15th, 2012
1:25 pm

Smart political move, and a smarter educational move. Good incentive for our illegal students to remain in school, graduate, and become productive individuals in our society.

Afterall, isn’t that what our “calling ” is about?

EduKtr

June 15th, 2012
1:26 pm

By in effect granting amnesty to young illegals, Pres. Obama is also granting it to their families, of course. Parents, grandparents and siblings will all be allowed to stay.

And to legally work. If more of the jobs they will now legally steal from unemployed citizens and legal immigrants were TEACHING jobs, in fact, the predictably pro-union voices above and below would no doubt be singing a quite different tune.

But then again—so would Pres. Obama himself.

Down in the polls

June 15th, 2012
1:29 pm

By in effect granting amnesty to young illegals, Pres. Obama is also granting it to their families, of course. Parents, grandparents and siblings will all be allowed to stay.

And to legally work. If more of the jobs they will now legally steal from unemployed citizens and legal immigrants were TEACHING jobs, in fact, the predictably pro-union voices above and below would no doubt be singing a quite different tune.

But then again—so would Pres. Obama himself.

NTLB

June 15th, 2012
1:36 pm

@EduKtr, Reagan granted amnesty to illegal immigrants in the 80s. 30 years later, I have yet to see any teaching jobs being “stolen” from the children and families of that generation.

In fact, before the cuts in educationm, several years ago the U.S. resorted to recruiting and obtaining work visas for educators from other countries.

bu2

June 15th, 2012
1:38 pm

Its deeply offensive that he is bypassing Congress. I can’t recall any other president trying so many times to do things by fiat. Basically, he is refusing to enforce existing law.

I think he just fired up a bunch of non-voters in his favor and a bunch of voters against him.

Shar

June 15th, 2012
1:43 pm

Disappointing political year pandering. The president did the right thing in sponsoring legislation supporting this very position, but that was debated and defeated by the people’s representatives. Waving a scepter and making it so, regardless of such representatives, is royal rather than presidential, and is motivated purely by political self-interest. It argues of desperation on the part of the president, and shows a discouraging inability to persuade effectively.

15June12

June 15th, 2012
1:55 pm

@NTLB: With so many teaching jobs cut, we’ll see how people react to illegals hired in front of unemployed teachers when hiring resumes one day.

The DREAM Act failed in Congress because of its broad unpopularity and the fact that military veterans already have the option to apply for citizenship.

As for ruling by decree … Pres. Obama himself seemed to rule it out in this 2011 interview: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/15/obama-grants-legal-status-young-illegal-immigrants/?page=2

— EduKtr

Double Zero Eight

June 15th, 2012
1:56 pm

@ Shar

I could not have expressed it any better.

A portion of the wording Maureen posted (election year initiative),
pretty much says it all.

Jerry Eads

June 15th, 2012
1:56 pm

Bravo, Maureen, for taking a sharper axe to the posts. Dear friend Bracey would highly approve.

My favorite anecdote is of the brilliant “illegal” immigrant who recently graduated from a Gwinnett high school, brought here when she was three. After having lived and worked here AND PAID TAXES for fifteen+ years, her parents were actually jailed in California awaiting deportation as she here in hiding awaited news on her college applications. She received offers of full scholarships from both Emory and Harvard. Blessedly, she and her parents avoided deportation and, to no surprise at all, she chose to live in Massachusetts rather than Georgia. Our loss. And no, she’s not Hispanic or Pacific Asian.

Entitlement Society

June 15th, 2012
2:04 pm

Really? In an election year? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

OK, while I feel for these young people, if they get to stay we need to send every last one of their illegal families back to their homeland!!! At the very least, confirm that no one in their immediate family is receiving ANY type of government assistance. Bypassing the normal road to a legal work permit is a HUGE enough gift from the USA.

Aquagirl

June 15th, 2012
2:10 pm

The president did the right thing in sponsoring legislation supporting this very position, but that was debated and defeated by the people’s representatives.

The problem is….the people’s representatives have never gotten around to offering an alternative solution of any kind, besides “NO EYE-LEGALS!!!!” There are millions of people here illegally. We can’t deport them all unless Congress appropriates and directs hundreds of billions of dollars to that end, so the Executive branch has to pick and choose who we deport.

That’s reality, and the people enforcing the law must function in reality, not rhetoric.

MC

June 15th, 2012
2:14 pm

Are you a christian Entitlement Society? Separating mothers and fathers from their children? WWJD?

catlady

June 15th, 2012
2:14 pm

While this won’t change things for most of my ESOL kids (because they are American citizens) for some it will be wonderful. I think of two sisters who have graduated high school with top honors and gone to a private college in Georgia, graduated with top honors, and cannot teach because they are not legally allowed to work. They came here when one was in 7th and the other in 3rd grade. They will be excellent in the classroom!

Also, with this as a possibility, I am hoping more of my Latinas avoid pregnancy in their mid teens and graduate from high school, since they will have the opportunity of something more than having some older man support them.

Like I say, only about 10% of the ESOL kids I work with were not born here, but perhaps this will give them something to encourage their schooling.

catlady

June 15th, 2012
2:18 pm

bu2: Kinda like those pesky old “signing statments?”

GwinnettParentz

June 15th, 2012
2:21 pm

@Aquagirl: The number of illegals has dropped by 1-2 million in recent years because of broader application of the E-Verify program and a shrinking job market.

There is therefore no need to round them up and physically deport them.

Without jobs here, Mexico’s booming economy will continue to look better and better to even more of them.

NTLB

June 15th, 2012
2:23 pm

@ Eduktr: Exactly what types of jobs are you talking about? They are many low level, poorly paid jobs that are only being filled by illegal/legal immigrants in this country. I don’t see many unemployed teachers or college graduates waiting in line to fill out those applications.

Whether there is a hidden agenda or not behind this political move, it does have its educational and economical benefits. You are talking about 800,000 individuals who will be able to work, pay taxes, and contribute their talents to our society, just like the student Jerry Eads wrote about in his post.

Lee

June 15th, 2012
2:29 pm

Election year hispandering to ILLEGAL alien INVADERS. I would expect no less from the current bag of hot air residing in the White House.
———————————

@Aquagirl, sorry, but there IS an alternative. They can get in line, fill out the paperwork, and be WELCOMED into this soveriegn nation just as tens of thousands of other LEGAL immigrants do every year.

Solutions

June 15th, 2012
2:35 pm

We already have a surplus of low IQ citizens, there is no compelling need to add to the queue. Average Hispanic IQ is a little above black IQ, but both are approximately one standard deviation unit below average white IQ. As long as we deny that IQ matters, we will not solve our problems. IQ appropriate education is all I am calling for, people of any IQ can have a happy, productive life within the bounds of our expectations of them. Expecting a person with an IQ of 85 to teach children in public schools and have a positive outcome for either the children or the teacher is not reasonable. IQ test teachers, you cannot rely on the State controlled credentialing system to screen for low IQ.

GwinnettParentz

June 15th, 2012
2:38 pm

Here’s President Obama explaining to Latinos (2011) why what he did today is illegal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TfZ3kaKZoIw#!

Entitlement Society

June 15th, 2012
2:40 pm

Thank you, Lee, for pointing out that our country has (and has had) laws and procedures in place for doing this the correct and legal way, which the parents of these children chose to blatantly ignore. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so I am skeptical.

Why do some of you posters think it is OK to break immigration laws, but you probably don’t think it’s OK to cheat on your taxes, drive excessively fast down your street, or hurt a child? Why? Because there are laws against these offenses just like there are laws against ILLEGAL immigration for a reason – our national security and future. We have a great nation that we need to protect and control its growth rate. That is precisely why our government spent the time to develop the current immigration policies and procedures.

NTLB

June 15th, 2012
2:41 pm

@Solutions—illegal immigrants are not only comprised of Hispanics. They do include Asians, Candadians, Caribbeans, Canadians, and South Americans (including Brazilians). Do you have any statistics on the IQs of these groups?

Aquagirl

June 15th, 2012
2:43 pm

They can get in line, fill out the paperwork, and be WELCOMED into this soveriegn(sic) nation

Everyone could drive the speed limit too, but that ain’t happening. Somehow our Republic still endures.

And if people don’t get in line for the immigration process…we’ll do what? Deport them? This is what paralyzes Congress. People are angry and frustrated and anyone who dares point out the obvious…that millions of illegals will not self-deport…is promptly un-elected. Then nothing gets done.

Again…the people in charge of deportation must choose how to use their limited resources. If you have a better idea besides hollering “illegals go home!!!” then please share because that’s not working. (Unless your goal is venting, in which case you’ve fully achieved your objective.)

Texas Gravy

June 15th, 2012
2:48 pm

Don’t disagree with the premise, but wished he had called out Mexico and asked for the same treatment for US citizens there.

GwtPtz

June 15th, 2012
2:50 pm

Here’s President Obama explaining to Latinos (video, 2011) why what he did today is illegal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TfZ3kaKZoIw#!

—GwinnettParentz

Solutions

June 15th, 2012
2:53 pm

East Asians have an average IQ approximately one standard deviation unit above the average white IQ, with the the higher scores located in the spacial-mathematical area. Jewish people also have an IQ approximately one standard deviation unit above the white average, with their higher scores located in the verbal area. This difference fascinated me as I see a link to their written native languages. In East Asia, the local alphabets are large and character based, with slight changes in the characters producing different words, hence the superior processing of shapes and mathematics. Hebrew is a language that is read from right to left, as opposed to our reading standard of left to right. IQ tests require the unscrambling of words, so left to right reading practice would help on that test. Brain development in childhood for the two groups would be different, and offers clues on possible ways to increase IQ in infants and children. I will have to look for data on Canadians and others, I don’t have it at my fingertips.

catlady

June 15th, 2012
2:55 pm

GwinnettParentz: “Mexico’s booming economy” does nothing for the Guatemalans, Salvadorans, Hondurans, or Koreans.

In our neck of the woods we have not seen very many Latino families leaving. However, we may not be seeing as many new faces, either.

HG

June 15th, 2012
3:28 pm

This is exactly what dictators do. They “rule”, not lead.

Bootney farnsworth

June 15th, 2012
3:41 pm

Once again Obama acts outside the law & many of you applaude it

Bootney farnsworth

June 15th, 2012
3:43 pm

And once again the concept of ILLEGAL eludes many of you

Dekalb taxpayer

June 15th, 2012
3:58 pm

This country was founded on the rule of law. The more the legislative and executive branches of government, both democratic and republican, refuse to respect and enforce duly enacted laws under the banner of “compassion,” the weaker our republic will become.

NTLB

June 15th, 2012
3:59 pm

@ Solutions–what language are these IQ tests given in? If they are not in the native language of those taking it, then their results are invalid.

Ashley

June 15th, 2012
4:08 pm

So how do we go about making sure they are driving legally? Since two were caught because they were driving without licenses, or are they going to be allowed to drive without reprecussions?

Love-It

June 15th, 2012
4:08 pm

Thank you President Obama for having the sense and foresight to see that we, the citicens of the U.S., have legally been educating non-documented students for years.Note: I stated “legally.” We have been transporting them to and fro school, offering nutrition and many other benefits from K-12. It only makes sense that we now use these sudents to benefit society as well as the families of these students. It has been ludicrous to spend all of those billions of dollars only to tell students at the age of 18 that they must return to their place of birth whether it be Mexico, Canada, Dominican Republic, Barzil, China, India or wherever. Thank you My President.

Old timer

June 15th, 2012
4:11 pm

Shar, Lee… Both correct. We need to secure our borders and then work on immigration policy. Though, I think what he did is probably the right thing to do…..it is not his job to rule when congress does not act.
This will not solve the long term solution…….Marko. Rubio has better solutions.

Ole Guy

June 15th, 2012
4:12 pm

Farns points out a valid issue…so many concepts in (what one might call) modern contemporary society have undergone ’social revision” so much so that we no longer recognize good from bad; right from wrong…we don’t know if we’re coming or going. So what else; what other traditional laws, by which this great Country has grown, should we ‘adjust” in the name of political correctness? Already, we see generations which, somehow, feel immune/not bound by the rules of social deportment; why stop here? Let’s just give away the store (if we already haven’t) in terms of native born citizens’ rights and freedoms.

Many years ago, there was an institution by the name of Ellis Island, by which the process of immigration was conducted systematically and…LEGALLY. Now that legal processes have become too onerous; too inconvenient for all concerned, let’s just forget all the rules and do as we all damn please. Sooner or later, it will all become legal anyway, so why even bother with the rules? Our leadership certainly doesn’t.

Solutions

June 15th, 2012
4:20 pm

NTLB – You may have a point, as I know of no IQ test given in the “language” of Eubonics!

Long time educator

June 15th, 2012
4:22 pm

@Solutions, Most of the “white” group here in America you refer to are a mixture of many ethnicities. I am German, Scotch Irish, British, Cherokee and who knows what else. African Americans are certainly a mixed group, Jews are becoming more so and Asians might be still a more homogeneous group. I do not see the value in comparing group IQ scores when the groups overlap to such an extent. Assessing an individual child might be helpful for his parents and teachers, but as I stated in a previous comment, I think motivation and character are more important than just IQ. I find this discussion offensive and a throwback to WWII Germany.

another comment

June 15th, 2012
4:23 pm

There are always two side to this story; my 17 years old blue eyed blonde hair, part Native American Daughter whose white ancesters have been in this country since 1622, has found it next to impossible to find a summer job this year. Perhaps she made the big mistake of choosing to take French the language of Foriegn Relations instead of Spanish. So she is not the Bi-lingual desired these days. She is one of the top students in her class.

On the other hand it will encourage my 18 year old maid, who had a baby at 16 to go back to school in the fall. I have been trying to mentor her, for several months about going back to school. Her sister who is 16 and a US citizen also had a baby at 16. I have told MC for the last several months that she can go back to High School, and that she has until she is 20, to complete her dipolma. I have also told her that unless she graduates from high school she will not be eligible for the Dream act. She has even told me, she wants to be a midwife. Think of all the money that our health care system can save by having this 18 year old bilingual hispanic girl, finish her education and become a midwife. Lots of money will be saved on more expensive emergency room visits, and births due to lack of prenatal care. Why should she be a maid. Why should her US Citizen son, be stuck on Peachcare.

Bernie

June 15th, 2012
4:27 pm

Thank-you President Obama for being the kind of President that truly embodies the true spirit of the American People. You are the kind the leader that the founding fathers of this great Nation were preparing for and thinking of when they formed this Union. While many now, are unable to fully grasp and understand this very important decision, they should know that this is truly the right thing to do at this point for this great Nation. Truly the Home Of the Free and The Land of the Brave.

Ashley

June 15th, 2012
4:31 pm

Will they be allowed to vote with no documentation? Most will be 18 and want to be a part of the democratic process, so many unanswered questions still need to be resolved.

William Casey

June 15th, 2012
4:35 pm

Thank you, Maureen, for your moderation work. It must be tedious. It has, however, significantly raised the level of discussion here.

I support the securing our borders. However, granting a path to citizenship to young people who have “done the right things” while here seems the only practical course of action. Dealing ultra-harshly with those who have behaved criminally also seems to be a necessity.

another comment

June 15th, 2012
4:39 pm

@ Solutions, I have two daughter’s one is 1/2 Jewish and doesn’t know how to read Hebrew, maybe can recite the Sabbat prayer. She is raised Catholic, since Jewish faith only goes through the mother. My other daughter is British, Irish, and Cherokee. They both have IQ’s that are about the same. Since they both score above the 90% on the IOWA tests. The one that is 1/2 Jewish did get in the 99% in Math in 1st grade.

Neither one of their father’s finished college or is ambitious. Maybe, the difference is their German, Scottish, Irish mother has a M.S. in Engineering Degree., I have an Aunt who is a nun with a Doctorate in Biology, Cousins with M.D.’d Phd in Chemistry, a Wall Street Banker, and several of us are Designers and Builders.

Solutions

June 15th, 2012
4:41 pm

The data on East Asians comes from IQ tests given in Hong Kong to Chinese in the Chinese language spoken in that city, in Korea in the Korean language, and in Japan in the Japanese language. The information has been confirmed by IQ tests given to people of each Nationality born, raised and educated in America, it is very consistent. The data on Jews comes from testing of Ashkenazi jews from Eastern Europe. Here in America, IQ tests are given in English, our native language. In Mexico, I am sure the tests are given in Spanish.

Blame it on falling poll numbers

June 15th, 2012
4:44 pm

As you can see from the Obama Amnesty reactions so far—not everyone quite shares your girlish glee with rule by executive decree, Maureen.

(And sorry that my differing views upset you to the point of blocking me from posting!)

—EduKtr

catlady

June 15th, 2012
4:45 pm

Bootney, you made a joke. “Applaude” is Spanish for “applaud.”

Solutions

June 15th, 2012
4:46 pm

It is reported that between 40 and 80% of IQ is genetic, it is the remaining 20 to 60% that is environmental that we hope to be able to manipulate to fully exploit the genetic potential. Pretending IQ does not matter is a mistake, hence we have to consider both the genetic and the environmental aspects. When I use the term IQ, I am referring to general intelligence, the so called g term used in the literature.

A Conservative Voice

June 15th, 2012
4:49 pm

BHusseinO will do anything, I SAY ANYTHING to get re-elected……talk about buying votes (which is Illegal, BTW)…….this is ridiculous and Congress should do something……c’mon guys, ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL. Saxby Chambliss, do something besides trying to just LOOK GOOD.

catlady

June 15th, 2012
4:52 pm

Or maybe it was not a joke. Where are you from?

Good ole Boys at the Gold Dome

June 15th, 2012
5:09 pm

Are we surprised by this action on illegals??? It is an election year and he needs the votes from anybody.I have a suggestion,any illegal child under 18 can not be deported,however their parents should pay to the federal goverment and state goverment 10% of parents income of every person in their family who is illegal.Make the parents of these childern register in Homeland Security. If they are not on the registar when checked they will be deported.Pay back what they have used illegal over the years. After the child reaches 18,they must file for U.S. citizenship within 6 months.This process must be completed by Homeland Security.

Lee

June 15th, 2012
5:25 pm

While we’re on controversial subjects, how about the white student who won a scholarship and was pressured into returning it because it was “only for african american” students. The returned scholarship was subsequently given to a black student.

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/06/11/white-student-returns-1000-scholarship-intended-for-black-students/

Imagine the uproar if the races were reversed. Hell, imagine the uproar if ANY group tried to award a “whites only” anything.

I’ll be waiting to see if Obummer sics his Justice Department on this clearly discriminatory group.

And waiting…..

And waiting…..

And waiting…..