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Debating Obama's plan to stop deporting young illegal immigrants

by AirTalk®

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Ana Venegas' parents brought her to the states from Guadalajara, Mexico when she was ten-months old. This Saturday she will graduate from Cal State L.A. with a degree in Sociology. Mae Ryan/KPCC

The Obama administration has announced it will stop deporting young illegal immigrants. Most likely spurred by an election year which hinges on Latino voters, the White House has numerous times called for broad immigration reform. However, any legislative efforts have repeatedly been thwarted in Congress by Republican leaders who want more policing and deportation of illegal immigrants, no matter what their status.

Obama’s new policy will bring an end to deportations of those who came to the United States as children and do not present a security risk to the country. Those eligible must be in school, have a high school diploma/GED or serve in the military. They had to move to the U.S. before they were sixteen, live here for five continuous years and be here presently.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano assures critics that this is not a permanent fix, but simply a means to make sure the deportation process is focused on high-profile individuals, such as criminals or those without family and community ties to the U.S.

Is this simply a political move in an election year, or a concerted effort to initiate reform? What are opponents of the policy change saying? What are the other details and specifics of this policy? Would it affect you?


Kitty Felde, KPCC’s Washington D.C. correspondent

Ruxandra Guidi , KPCC's Immigration and Emerging Communities reporter

Angelica Salas, Executive Director, CHIRLA (Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles)

Jon Feere, Legal Policy Analyst, Center for Immigration Studies

Erick Huerta, undocumented journalist based in Los Angeles

Xavier Becerra, Democratic Congressman representing California's 31st District

Tim Donnelly, California State Assemblyman, R-59th District (San Bernardino, San Dimas)

Dan Schnur, Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC and adjunct faculty at USC Annenberg School

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