Voters Favor Obama Deportation Policy
President Barack Obama issued an order that stops deportation proceedings for immigrants who entered the United States as children. Majority of voters approved the president’s move according to a latest Bloomberg poll released Tuesday. According to the survey, 64 percent of voters were in favor of the policy change. This gave Obama an edge over rival Mitt Romney with regards to the immigration debate.
86 percent of Democrats were in favor of the decision while 65 percent of Independents welcomed the change as well. 56 percent of Republicans were against the said executive order. The new policy orders immigration officials to use prosecutorial discretion to freeze deportations for undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before the age of 16, lived in the country for five years, have no criminal records, and younger than 31 years of age.
President Obama’s move came as a result of congressional inaction on his DREAM Act, which proposed a path to citizenship for undocumented youth who have attended college or served in the military. The House of Representatives passed the DREAM Act last December 2010 but was short of the 60 votes that it needed to break the Republican-led filibuster in the Senate.
Among those who oppose the immigration policy are Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He criticized the president for bypassing Congress with regards to immigration issues. He endorsed a statement made by Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who called for Congress to look for a long term solution to the problem regarding undocumented youth.
Romney refused to answer whether he would reverse the deportation policy once he was elected as president. President Obama’s announcement derailed Senator Rubio’s attempt to push for a conservative alternative to the DREAM Act. His proposal allows undocumented immigrants who graduated from high school and have no criminal record to get a nonimmigrant visa.