The Obama administration announced Thursday that it will renew the non-deportation for young adult illegal immigrants, meaning the more than 560,000 so-called “Dreamers” who are part of the program will be allowed to continue living and working in the U.S. with no fear of deportations.
“Despite the acrimony and partisanship that now exists in Washington, almost all of us agree that a child who crossed our border illegally with a parent, or in search of a parent or a better life, was not making an adult choice to break our laws, and should be treated differently than adult law-breakers,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in announcing the program’s renewal for another two years.
Lauded by immigrant-rights groups as a humanitarian gesture, the program, which the government termed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has been wildly popular with Hispanic voters, and polls show it receives generally good remarks with the public at large.
Critics, however, call it President Obama’s “mini-amnesty” and say it is contributing to a new surge in illegal immigration — including driving up the number of young children crossing the border alone. Homeland Security officials have termed that a crisis.
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