How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

What do you think of Obama's 'deferred action' immigration plan?

Or as one NPR headline put it, "Is Deportation Freeze a 'Big Relief' or 'Cynical Ploy'? Those are just some of the ways in which different people have been describing the Obama administration's announcement yesterday that it would not pursue deportation for some young undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as minors.

The move was and will continue to be a very big deal, potentially affecting at least hundreds of thousands of young people under 30. It's not "amnesty" per se, as some critics have called it, as there's no permanent legal status or path to citizenship involved.

What it does do is allow young people who have a clean record and arrived in the U.S. before age 16, among other things, to apply for "deferred action," or a temporary deferment of removal. If they meet the criteria, they will then be able to apply for a work permit if eligible.

Opinion has been split, some along the usual lines and some not. While many who would benefit have expressed relief, others are disappointed that the plan doesn't go further. Some have also criticized it as politically motivated, especially as Republican lawmakers propose stripped-down alternatives to the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

What do you think of President Obama's deferred action plan? Some of my colleagues have put together two ways to weigh in: Take the online poll (note: the terminology isn't mine) below, or record your thoughts via Soundcloud. Have at it, folks.


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