This morning, President Obama announced a policy—effective today—that will protect people from deportation who came to the States as kids. The executive order applies to folks who are under 30, got here before they turned 16 and have lived in the country for more than five years. Immigrants also must have finished high school, and be in college or the military. A criminal record disqualifies you.
I wonder how the news will affect a student we wrote about in 2010, who was slated to graduate a couple weeks ago from a graduate program at UNM’s School of Architecture and Planning. She came to the U.S. when she was 7.
Or Ramon Eduardo Dorado Mendoza, who was stopped by Albuquerque airport police for speeding in 2010 when he was driving down I-25 near the Lead and Coal exit. He was escorted to the border, along with his father, and separated from his mom and sister. Mendoza had been in the country since he was 4. He had no criminal history.
Folks say Obama’s move was calculated to garner Hispanic votes around the country. Mitt Romney advocates “self-deportation,” which even Gov. Susana Martinez doesn’t like. Romney hasn’t yet responded to the president’s executive order.
The Obama administration has been criticized for holding the record for deportations, though, the president says, those numbers may be deceptive.
Obama is scheduled to speak about the announcement in the Rose Garden today. There’s a live feed here.