Why some illegal immigrants aren't celebrating Obama’s new policy (+video)
Some young illegal immigrants remain skeptical that President Obama's new policy, which could give renewable US work permits to 800,000 immigrants, will actually work.
An Obama administration announcement met by cheers and tears of joy from immigration activists has left at least some young illegal immigrants skeptical.
With Hispanic voters upset by his failure to prod Congress into action on immigration reform, President Obama announced a policy shift Friday that could allow some 800,000 undocumented immigrants age 30 or younger to remain and work in the United States legally.
[Editor's Note: The original version of this story misstated the nature of the policy change made by the Obama administration. The change extends an existing policy of prosecutorial discretion in prioritizing the deportation of certain individuals rather than being an executive order.]
Republicans in Congress expectedly attacked the policy, calling it an end-run around the legislative process and a form of back-door amnesty that represented “a breach of faith with the American people," according to Rep. Lamar Smith (R) of Texas.
But more surprisingly, some of the very people set to benefit from the policy change questioned the timing and actual impact of the policy change. Despite Mr. Obama's apparent and repeated efforts to soften immigration policy, they note, his administration has deported record numbers of immigrants.
“The national groups are all celebrating and saying, 'Let’s congratulate the president for what he’s doing,' but a lot of people don’t know how it feels to be undocumented, and a lot of us are not going to believe it,” says Jose Rico, an undocumented Mexican who is attending community college in North Carolina and is a member of an activist group, North Carolina Dream Team. “The president has already said we’re not going to deport any more [young immigrants], but record numbers are still being deported.”
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