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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