Barack Obama's New Immigration Policy Sounds Dream Act-Like

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Well, if you think there's not much of a difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, this should create some separation between the two, especially concerning immigration policy:

Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children will be able to obtain work permits and be safe from deportation under a new policy announced on Friday by the Obama administration.

The policy, effective immediately, will apply to people who are currently under 30 years old, who arrived in the country before they turned 16 and have lived in the United States for five years. They must also have no criminal record, and have earned a high school diploma, be in school or have served in the military.

These qualifications resemble in some ways those of the so-called Dream Act, a measure blocked by Congress in 2010 that was geared to establish a path toward citizenship for certain young illegal immigrants. The administration's action on Friday, which stops deportations but does not offer citizenship or even permanent legal status, is being undertaken by executive order and does not require legislation.

What the younger immigrants will obtain, officials said, is the ability to apply for a two-year "deferred action" that effectively removes the threat of deportation for up to two years, with repeated extensions. "This is not immunity, it is not amnesty," said Janet Napolitano, the homeland security secretary. "It is an exercise of discretion."

Officials estimated that the new policy would cover about 800,000 people.

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