Obama Authorizes Work Permits in Lieu of Deportation

President Obama today issued an order authorizing undocumented residents to obtain work permits and avoid removal (deportation.)

The Obama administration said Thursday it will allow many illegal immigrants facing deportation the chance to stay in this country and apply for a work permit, while focusing on removing from the U.S. convicted criminals and those who might be a national security or public safety threat.

That will mean a case-by-case review of approximately 300,000 illegal immigrants facing possible deportation in federal immigration courts, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in announcing the policy change.


According to one official:

"As a matter of law, they are eligible for a work authorization card, basically a taxpayer ID card, but that decision is made separately and on a case-by-case basis," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discussed the change publicly.

The official said the change will give authorities the chance to keep some cases from even reaching the court system. The message to agents in the field, the official said, would be "you do not need to put everyone you come across in the system."

This is welcome news and a step in the right direction. The Associated Press report, which obtained the letter from DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, is here.

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  • Display: Sort:
    It's the right thing to do. (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 06:32:12 PM EST
    Glad to see it happen, irrespective of the reason.

    Yes, it is the right thing to do. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by caseyOR on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 06:49:18 PM EST
    And I, too, do not care what the reason is for this change.

    I do hope Napolitano's office has gotten the word out to all the Immigration offices around the country and made it clear to everyone in those offices that the rules have changed.


    I agree with this (none / 0) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 08:49:58 PM EST
    Particularly hope this allows the children to continue their education without any more hassle.

    More of this please (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 07:10:16 PM EST

    What is the Saying ? (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 09:43:59 AM EST
    The devil is in the details...

    Sorry, but this is so out-of-character I'm having a hard time swallowing it.

    If it's as reported, this is awesome.  I have been looking for something to get me off the couch on election day, this is definitely what I have been looking for.

    I hope this is true and the message works it's way down to the ground troops.  As mentioned above, what does this mean: paychecks, taxes, SSI, and are those commitments going to be honored when they retire ?  

    Or are we creating huge database for the next republican president to use when trying to eradicate the country of brown people while simultaneously taking what little they have to subsidize tax cuts.

    Just seems like more magic fairy dust...

    I'm with you ... (none / 0) (#38)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 10:23:44 AM EST
    don't buy it.  Fool me once and all that ...

    My guess is there will be so many caveats that this will never be meaningfully implemented.  That's the general M.O. of this administration.

    For that reason, they can't just say stuff at me.  They gotta prove it!


    This should help Obama with the Latino vote... (none / 0) (#1)
    by magster on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 05:58:47 PM EST
    ... how political of him. But, welcome nonetheless.

    Most (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by CST on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 09:18:54 AM EST
    good policy is political.  That's why movements work.  Which makes the economic policy of this administration even more inexplicable.

    Except that (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 06:10:59 PM EST
    it might lose him the right wing vote he's worked so hard to try to capture...

    Yup. Didn't someone post the right wing (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by nycstray on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 06:17:31 PM EST
    probable response to this yesterday? 'Taking jobs, depressing wages and destroying the economy' is what I think they said "illegals" do . . . {sigh}

    Well, (none / 0) (#18)
    by bocajeff on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 10:04:19 PM EST
    The law of supply and demand would simply state that the more supply of workers you have then the demand on wages will fall.

    Also, the more workers you have in the marketplace then the less jobs will be available.

    Not talking about the politics or the morality. Just the simple math of added workers and people to the system.


    They are already here and working (none / 0) (#23)
    by nycstray on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 01:16:19 AM EST
    and from my perspective, they aren't hurting the job market/wages/etc. I'd look elsewhere for that particular problem . . . .

    For us blue collar workers, yes (none / 0) (#58)
    by Babel 17 on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 12:31:56 PM EST
    Unfortunately many white collar workers can't grasp our reality.

    Economist Paul Krugman has noted that many citizens do have their wages negatively impacted by an influx of manual laborers.

    IIRC he alluded that the logic is pretty elementary.


    he's working to capture (none / 0) (#4)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 06:30:29 PM EST
    "independents," i.e., country-club Republicans like himself

    he knows that no right-wingers are going to vote for him - they think he's a Kenyan Muslim Socialist

    but this could shore up some of the Hispanic bloc for him

    it's a good thing to do


    Maybe (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 07:26:51 PM EST
    As long as they don't get unreasonable and start expecting things like Health Care or Social Security ( /snark )

    The way it is now (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 01:21:06 AM EST
    we're ripping them off happily for SS contributions and taxes without them having the ability to claim any of the benefits.

    OTOH (none / 0) (#31)
    by nyjets on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 07:43:28 AM EST
    'Undocumented' immigrants are depressing the wages of American citizens and making it harder for them to find jobs. Also most of the money they 'earned' is sent to their home countries pumping more money out of the country. They are also getting a free education.
    It is the 'undocumented' immigrants that are ripping us off.

    Nice links and sources (none / 0) (#40)
    by Edger on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 03:19:42 PM EST
    you provided :-/

    Scatch the Undocumented Mem NYJets (none / 0) (#45)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 04:24:38 PM EST
    They are now or will be documented, better work on those talking points.

    The point is (none / 0) (#46)
    by nyjets on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 05:19:54 PM EST
    They are currently 'undocumented' and IMO should be deported. They should not be allowed to stay in this country.

    and you are limited to four comments a day (none / 0) (#51)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 12:15:57 AM EST
    expressing that view. It is directly contrary to the views of this site.

    Four? That's progress. (none / 0) (#56)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 10:59:44 AM EST
    Clintonistas were permitted only two during the height of '08.

    Only (none / 0) (#32)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 08:06:21 AM EST
    If they actually get a paycheck and are not paid under the table.  

    Damn those American employers, eh? (none / 0) (#41)
    by Edger on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 03:21:00 PM EST
    Good Obama Moves (none / 0) (#6)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 06:44:39 PM EST
    Either get no attention or he's accused of doing it for political reasons.

    Been a while since I have read a 5 comment post.  

    No fun in "good job Obama".

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 07:08:41 PM EST
    we only have his behavior of the last few years to go by. When a group makes a ruckus he will do what they want or if it affects his electoral chances. I guess he must see tanking numbers in the western states to be doing this because it's a reversal of what he's been doing up to this point.

    Good Job, President Obama! (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Peter G on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 09:01:01 PM EST
    There, I said it.  (And I mean it, at least until I read the fine print and find the loopholes.)

    Unfortunately, looking for the loopholes (none / 0) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 09:05:27 PM EST
    in policies that initially sound good before getting too excited is probably sound policy.

    I missed exactly what they said on (none / 0) (#24)
    by nycstray on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 01:20:48 AM EST
    local news about that, but it does seem some have been looking . . . but at this point, I'll take anything that helps.

    If this policy helps more people, (none / 0) (#39)
    by MO Blue on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 10:31:27 AM EST
    then I'm all for it.

    I would like someone who I respect, like PeterG above, to look at the details. Maybe I've become too cynical but I'm really tired of the roller coaster ride the Dems have been taking me on since 2006 where things sound good but are either abandoned or not as they seem.



    Eh... (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by Addison on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 09:17:45 PM EST
    Well, you're increasingly make it clear that you are more interested in yelling at other people about their lack of support for President Obama than supporting him yourself. So count me unimpressed with your castigations here.

    You converted your support for the President into negative emotion expressed on a blog. Your default mode when Obama does something good is apparently not to trumpet it, but to whine that other people aren't trumpeting it sufficiently enough for you. That's not useful support. If someone just yells at Yankee fans all the time and happens to wear a Red Sox hat, I'd think that person was a pretty terrible Red Sox fan. They're just a Yankee hater. You're an Obama-hater hater, not a supporter.


    Well said, Addison (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 01:22:50 AM EST
    I think you nailed my somewhat inchoate negative reaction to ABG's posts.

    Addison, who are you addressing (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 11:03:37 PM EST
    I did praise Obama for it and I meant it.

    Addison was addressing (none / 0) (#21)
    by Peter G on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 11:40:09 PM EST

    ABG, not you. (none / 0) (#22)
    by Addison on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 12:56:57 AM EST
    I don't see any "good job Obama" (none / 0) (#11)
    by nycstray on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 07:37:50 PM EST
    from you either on this one. just sayin' . . .

    please see comment #4 (none / 0) (#19)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 10:06:33 PM EST
    let me quote myself:

    it's a good thing to do


    want to give my comment a 5?


    You are so full of it (none / 0) (#37)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 10:19:05 AM EST
    When DADT repeal occurred, many here, including myself, praised Obama and expressed satisfaction at finally being able to HAVE something to praise him about.

    DREAM Act by other means... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Addison on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 09:25:25 PM EST
    If you look at the specifics it's clearly a decision designed to emulate the DREAM Act legislation through an executive order. Essentially the rule means there won't be any deportations of veterans, long-time undocumented residents, and probably college students before the 2012 election. Whether that means the DREAM Act is easier or harder to pass, I don't know. I wonder if Obama (read: his political team) will push for it in 2012?

    Something BHO really believes in (none / 0) (#17)
    by Politalkix on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 09:46:25 PM EST
    He had singled out (from a host of other promises/initiatives) not being able to pass the DREAM ACT as his biggest disappointment

    Looking at the date on that (none / 0) (#27)
    by nycstray on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 01:27:10 AM EST
    I would call it 'aka need to fix for 2012 somehow' . . .  :)

    Some good news (none / 0) (#28)
    by lilburro on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 01:31:34 AM EST
    the executive branch can do stuff!  On its own, this is a great development and kudos to Obama.  Hopefully they'll just start getting as much as they can done, knowing the GOP is the way it is.

    That's what I hope too. (none / 0) (#29)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 06:15:06 AM EST
    Current laws allow for executive leeway that I hope he becomes more willing to use. Better late than never.

    Why do we need a Congress?? (none / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 07:36:49 AM EST
    The message to agents in the field, the official said, would be "you do not need to put everyone you come across in the system."

    We'll just let the President and his administration decide what laws should be enforced.

    Actually (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 08:08:56 AM EST
    We'll just let the President and his administration decide what laws should be enforced.

    That is the job of the executive branch - to enforce the laws written by the legislature.


    Yup. and if the GOP is hell-bent on (none / 0) (#36)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 09:53:15 AM EST
    cutting the government workforce, the executive can decide where to allocate diminished resources. I'd say deporting the law-abiding should be a very low priority.

    And I would say that (none / 0) (#43)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 03:24:51 PM EST
    deporting shouldn't be a problem in resources. We have plenty of 747's and plenty of pilots.

    No money (none / 0) (#44)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 03:31:33 PM EST
    for that.

    They won't pick up people in SC because they can't afford the expense. I don't think they are picking them up here in GA either since the state is bankrupt. They are letting people out of jail her in GA because they can't afford to keep them. If they won't pick them up because it's too expensive and they won't put them in jail because it's too expensive, they certainly aren't going to spend money on expensive planes.


    GA is out of money? (none / 0) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 06:14:32 PM EST
    So what. Immigration is a federal matter. Pick'em up and turn'em over to ICE.

    They don't (none / 0) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 04:52:39 AM EST
    have the money to pick them up. If they pick them up they have to hold them for three to four days and there's no money for that.

    They don't pick them up because (none / 0) (#54)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 09:03:27 AM EST
    it is politically incorrect. The "money" thing is just an excuse.

    Would you buy that excuse for bank robbers?


    Talk (none / 0) (#55)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 09:14:18 AM EST
    to the conservatives that run GA. But comparing people who have immigrated illegally to bank robbers is a pretty poor comparison. I'm sure if the same people committed an crime like robbing a bank they would be picked up. They just don't think it's a priority to pick up people because of immigration violations. I guess they look at like a misdemeanor.

    Since when were conservatives concerned with "political correctness" whatever that means?


    The people running GA are conservatives?? (none / 0) (#59)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 02:41:03 PM EST
    They sound like socialists to me. I mean judging them on what they have done.

    And why are you sure?? What if they had just robbed a Quiki Market??

    My point remains. If it wasn't politically incorrect they would find the money and pick them up. The BS from AZ has them gun shy.

    And you really don't know that the conservative minions have been crying that political correctness has caused many problems?? Are you sure? I mean, you never read that about the Fort Hood killer??


    The people (none / 0) (#60)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 03:01:27 PM EST
    running GA are conservatives. All three branches of government are held by Republicans and GA is one of the reddest states in the nation with the majority of house reps are GOP as well as 2 GOP senators.

    Well, I do know for sure that they have picked up illegal immigrants that have committed crimes. All you have to do is read the newspaper on that one. The republicans here have also committed assault and battery against LEGAL immigrants. The republicans are incredibly stupid I guess.

    If GA was so worried about Arizona they wouldn't have passed the stupid law in the first place now would they?

    I know a friend of mine's daughter got put in jail for writing bad checks and they let her go because 1. no one was going to post bond and 2. they didn't think she was a threat to society and 3. they didn't want to pay to keep her anymore. I mean if they are letting people out of jail who committed actual crimes because they can't afford to keep them then why do you think that they would put people who obey all the laws except for the immigration laws? And if it's a federal problem like you're saying then there's even less reason to do anything about it.

    The Fort Hood killer was an American Citizen not an immigrant. He was born in Arlington, VA. I guess you're not aware of that information.


    Uh, quit dodging (none / 0) (#61)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 04:32:50 PM EST
    you'll twist a knee.

    The point re Ft Hood is that it was politically incorrect to point out that he was Muslim.

    So they let a criminal out of jail that you happened to know and that is your basis for this???

    Can you spell anecdotal?

    And all Repubs are conservatives? And ALL of the GA state government is Republican? Really?

    You are making less and less sense.

    Point remains. IF they wanted to pick up illegal immigrants they would find the money.

    They don't want to because it is now politically incorrect after the repeated attacks on the AZ politicians.

    And the Repubs are beating people up??? Wow. They are becoming more evil by the minute. Do the police know this??



    So what (none / 0) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 08:23:59 PM EST
    if he was Muslim? It seemed to me that you thought it was "politically incorrect" to point out that the guy in Sweden was a right wing christian.

    You're the one that keeps dodging things saying they're not "conservatives" or whatever.

    Nathan Deal is letting tons of people out of jail because the state can't afford it. It's not just this one person. It's been in the news here.

    Yes, the entire senate, legislature and the governorship is controlled by the GOP. The Democrats hold ZERO offices statewide in this state.

    Again, if they were so worried about AZ then why even pass the stupid law? There were people who didn't want the law passed because they didn't want us to look like AZ because apparently AZ has become a laughing stock of the nation. But in the end the people that were worried about being like AZ didn't count enough to stop the legislation. Nathan Deal did what the tea party here in GA wanted and it has ended up being a joke.

    Yeah, they could arrest these people but then there would be less money to go after murderers and every other criminal. And it would cost the state money they apparently don't have.

    Yes, actually the police know. There was a case in the county that I live where one of the family members founders of the county GOP attempted to murder a Guatemalan. It had to be moved elsewhere in the state. This particular guy was a legal immigrant.

    You really don't seem to know what the GOP has been doing do you?


    Here's (none / 0) (#63)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 08:32:05 PM EST
    Who is a Christian? (none / 0) (#64)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 11:56:17 AM EST
    I have no information that tells me what church the killer attended, when he was baptized, etc., etc.

    If I were to describe him I would say he is a nut case who uses religious terms to spew his hatred. Perhaps you can provide this information.

    If he was a Muslim I would describe him as a radical Muslim terrorist. You should know this if you have followed my comments on TalkLeft.

    Dodging? Hmmm. Noting that people are what they do defines who/what they are is dodging? Really?

    I think I shall call myself an Astronaut. I mean I have never been been on a mission and certainly not a rocket, but by your standards none of that matters.

    And letting people out of jail because the state can't afford it??

    Again, really? GA is broke?? Why don't you, and them, say "We're letting people out of jail because we don't have enough money to keep them in a manner required by law and we don't want to take money from other programs or increase taxes."

    That is called "The Truth."

    And a Republican tried to kill someone? A legal immigrant??? Wow. Now that sure indicts all Republicans.

    Back to demonizing a large group by using the actions of on, eh? Old Joe must have dropped by.

    So don't complain when the Right rants about limousine liberals. Turn about, as they say, is fair play.



    Okay (none / 0) (#65)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 06:20:59 PM EST
    You are the ultimate arbiter of who's a conservative then according to you.

    These republicans define themselves as conservatives, argue in the primaries who is the most "conservative" yet somehow they aren't conservatives according to you.

    Why is a terrorists' religion so important to you? A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist. The goals and the results are the same. If you are going to have Muslim terrorists or radical Muslim terrorists then I guess you want the Christian terrorists called radical Christian terrorists?

    You'll have to tell me why the conservatives in GA do what they do. I happen to think they are bunch of radical fundamentalists and want to mimic the social mores of the Taliban.


    Sure, pilots are great at going out (none / 0) (#48)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 08:39:00 PM EST
    and finding the people and loading them on the planes. They'll love that job.

    Well, duhhhhhhhh (none / 0) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 10:22:02 PM EST
    I'd let the police arrest them like AZ wants to.

    The problem is that the (none / 0) (#42)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 03:23:06 PM EST
    enforcement is being turned over to the police.

    I thought you said that was bad in AZ???

    And, of course, that isn't enforcing, that's avoiding for a political purpose.

    The whole thing becomes ripe for corruption.


    "to enforce the laws written by" (none / 0) (#57)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 11:05:42 AM EST
    That's old school.  How's it work now?

    The legislature rewrites laws to legalize the crimes of the executive.


    You know what's REALLY funny about ... (none / 0) (#53)
    by Yman on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 07:38:11 AM EST

    Some wingnuts are claiming Obama should be impeached over it, and even posting pictures of Obama with Hitler and Stalin.


    A bigger pander bear than Clinton (none / 0) (#50)
    by diogenes on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 10:58:56 PM EST
    Does President Obama believe in ANYTHING?  Is it pure expediency of the moment?  Why is it a good idea to reward those who cross the borders against the rules over those who dutifully wait in line for green cards for years and enter the country according to the rules (as my parents did)?  If Obama wants to give out work permits then he should give them out to people who are properly waiting in line.