The Obama Administration’s announcement of a new immigration policy raised hope, and a few eyebrows.
The deferred action process will give relief to all illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria.
Individuals must have come to the U.S. before the age of 16, have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years, completed high school and either attended college or served in the military, have no criminal records and are under the age of 30.
Many legislators are not happy with the decision, with Governor Rick Perry chalking it up to a “blatant disregard for our Constitution”, and Congressman Neugebauer calling it a “shortcut that incentivizes illegal immigrants”. Attorney Rob Hogan said that is not the case.
“This is not amnesty,” Hogan said. “It is not a way for people to obtain citizenship. All it is, is a way for people to stay in the country. They are still here, not necessarily without status, but still here without a visa.”
Margarita Puente with Catholic Charities said she works with a number of people who will benefit from this.
“They have a son who is 19 now,” Puente said, “and he has been very upset because he has been wanting to go to college, and because of the fact that he does not have any legal status at all. Neither do his parents, so he was not able to pursue his dream of going to college.”
According to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s memo, the application process will start in sixty days.