President Obama pushed the immigration debate back into the campaign spotlight today with his announcement that some young undocumented immigrants will no longer be deported but instead will qualify for work permits as long as they meet certain requirements, including being in school or having a degree or G.E.D., being between the ages of 16 and 30, and having at least 5 continuous years in the United States. The president's executive order would allow those who meet the necessary requirements to be granted the ability to work legally within the United States.
Critics say it’s too little too late and that the timing is highly political. The issue certainly remains politically fraught, as was evident when a blogger from the Daily Caller interrupted the president’s speech.
Now that Democrats have put their cards on the table, how will Mitt Romney and the Republican camp respond? Will Romney endorse Republican Senator Marc Rubio’s version of the Dream Act? And how are voters receiving today’s news? Do immigrants feel they are being pandered to on this issue?
Kris Kobach, Mitt Romney’s immigration campaign advisor
Matt Barreto, co-founder of the polling firm Latino Decisions and political science professor at the University of Washington in Seattle