BVN Staff Report
President Barack Obama said Friday that his administration would let many young illegal immigrants legally live and work in the U.S., sidestepping Congress after years of stalemate over the nation's immigration policy. The Obama administration says it won't deport many younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
Under the new rules, an estimated 800,000 young people brought to the U.S. as children could apply for work permits and enjoy a safe haven from deportation. Unlike with the Dream Act, a bill backed by Mr. Obama that has stalled in Congress, they would not be eligible for citizenship. The rules, which Mr. Obama announced Friday from the Rose Garden, may inject a needed jolt of enthusiasm for his campaign among Hispanic voters, who overwhelmingly support him but often turn out in smaller numbers than other groups.
Many Republicans criticized the rules as an amnesty for law breakers, an overreach of administrative authority and an election-year pander to Hispanics. The new rules may complicate GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's efforts to find a more nuanced position to appeal to Hispanics after a primary campaign in which he said he would veto the Dream Act.
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