Lenient Immigration Policies Designed to Rein in Voters?

As Election Day is slowly coming up, US President Barack Obama is in overdrive to make sure he gets the votes. However, Obama’s sudden move to make a drastic change to the US immigration policies was something many did not see coming. The executive order, titled Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children, allowed the government to change immigration policies to more lenient terms. His action has drawn both flak and support from every angle.

The changes call a halt on the deportation of nearly 1 million undocumented immigrant youth and allows them working permits if they meet a strict set of criteria.

Many of those who oppose the large influx of illegal immigrants to the United States say that such action will hinder economic growth and hurt the employment prospects of Americans. According to a recent social survey, there are over 100 million jobless Americans at the moment. A huge portion of that particular demographic consists of college graduates who are under 25 years of age. With Obama’s latest alteration of US immigration laws, more Americans may have difficulty landing a job that suit their skills, degrees, and preferred wages.

Supporters, on the other hand, showed that the alterations made to the US immigration policies have created new avenues where the economy will greatly benefit. Time Magazine’s Jose Antonio Vargas, himself an undocumented immigrant, wrote in an article that the presence of undocumented immigrants who are given the opportunity to study and work in the United States will greatly contribute to the immediate recovery and growth of the country. Simply put, if immigrants work in this country, they pay taxes and help in rebuilding the US market.

Others see Obama’s move as unconstitutional because he violated the US Constitution by making his own law whereas the Constitution says that, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

Political analysts say that Obama is politicking and using his position to gain favor with the Latinos. Political analyst Miguel A. Levario says that Obama is positioning himself with Latino voters and his executive order was a ploy to ensure he has the Latino population on his bandwagon.

The shock-and-awe effect is big for those who are affected, particularly eligible immigrant voters. Current polls show that Obama now has the huge lead over Romney among Latino voters. A poll by Fox News reveals that 70 percent of the Latino demographic will vote for Obama. A similar survey by NBC/Telemundo has shown that 61 percent will give Obama their vote.

That said, it must be noted that Obama’s new immigration policy does not and will not lead to citizenship or legal residency. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made that clear in her memo that the new order is simply a deferment and not a dismissal from prosecution probing.

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