New polls show that the majority of Americans support deferred deportation action for young illegal immigrants, despite the criticism that the President’s prosecutorial discretion allows amnesty for people who entered the country without following the proper legal channels.
Since President Obama announced the new policy, which mirrors the failed DREAM Act, there has been sweeping criticism on the right, but the many Americans both on the right and left think it is the right thing to do for these young people who had little choice.
According to Bloomberg survey released today, 64 percent of Americans approve of the new policy. It should be no surprise that 84 percent of Democrats approve of the change, but what is more surprising is 56 percent of Republicans also give their approval. A majority of Independent also support the policy change.
Despite the rhetoric, the change isn’t a pathway to citizenship or “backdoor amnesty,” it is however a pathway to a legal presence. Deferred action gives young people two years to obtain a work or education visa, which can be facilitated by an immigration lawyer.
Allowing these young people the chance to apply for citizenship is what many feel is the right thing to do, since the majority of these young people were brought here illegally out of no fault of their own.
In order to be eligible for deferred deportation, the visa applicant must be between the ages of 16 to 30 and have been in the U.S. for at least 5 years and are not guilty of committing any crimes that pose a threat to national security. Young immigrants who think they may be eligible for a visa can consult with an immigration lawyer to determine if they meet the qualifications.
A work or study visa isn’t enough for citizenship alone, but the hopeful citizen must meet residency requirements before they are eligible for naturalization. This takes at least a few years. The entire citizenship process can be clarified by a capable immigration attorney.