As might be expected, President Obama's announcement that many qualifying young undocumented immigrants may be spared from deportation has inspired readers and listeners at KPCC to put in their two cents. Throughout station's home site and staff blogs, the comments have been pouring in from the left and right, quite literally.
Obama's plan involves allowing young people who arrived in the U.S. under age 16 and now under 30 to apply for deferred action, an administrative form of relief that would let them to stay legally in the United States, but not permanently. Those who qualify could also obtain work permits, but their cases would have to be reviewed and renewed every two years. It could affect hundreds of thousands of young people, but their long-term prospects remain uncertain.
Obama perhaps put it best himself in a speech at the White House this afternoon: "This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It is not a permanent fix."
Still, the idea of undocumented immigrants getting any form of relief is enough to get people going. The AirTalk show's page had this informal poll:
Source: KPCC AirTalk
But there were plenty of those who disagreed with the idea posting comments. Andre, one of more than 200 people who have so far posted comments on the AirTalk page, wrote:
As a Legal temporary non-immigrant worker I find this law a shame and an insult toward people who instead have chosen to follow the rules. There are thousands of skilled foreigners who spent thousands and thousands of dollars to get higher education in the US, acquiring specialized skills, yet most of the time they must leave the country, while illegals get to stay? Why rewarding people who broke the rules?
It doesn't matter that it wasn't them to break the rules but their parents. Parents will keep doing it if the know their children will be rewarded. What's the incentive here to those who follow the very strict rules if we see illegals have an easier way than us?
Pasquale Lombardo wrote:
I have been practicing immigration law for more than 30 years. I am tired of hearing that the undocumented should go back to their home country and "get in line" and come back legally. It's not that easy. There are lots of obstacles. For instance, an unmarried dreamer with undocumented parents who departs the US would be barred from reentering the US for 10 years and no waiver available even if the dreamer had a legal path to reenter the country.
An earlier post on Multi-American has also drawn a string of comments, among them this one from Daniel Quach:
I think regardless of where you stand on the issue, this will at least force congress to take some action on the issue compared to not doing anything.
Dave Goode wrote:
No illegal immigrants should be allowed to live in the United States.
What part of "illegal" (undocumented?) is that you don't understand?
And Giozercar79 wrote:
Great, great decision! It was a no brainer. I am not sure why it took so long, but at least it happened. Hard working students will get what they deserve, hope for a peaceful future where they can live the American dream that they had been denied of due to the lack of a paper. Today is a great day for the United States of America!
Other KPCC hosts covered the announcement and the reaction, with Patt Morrison discussing how President Obama's GOP rival Mitt Romney will deal with the development and Madeleine Brand interviewing syndicated columnist (and my former colleague) Ruben Navarrette for his take on Obama's move, which many regard as as politically motivated.