Hispanic Evangelicals Applaud Obama’s Immigration Policy

U.S. President Barack Obama responds to a reporter who questioned him, as he speaks about immigration from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington June 15, 2012. The Obama administration announced on Friday it would relax enforcement of deportation rules for young people brought to the United States without legal status, a shift in immigration policy that could be designed to appeal to Hispanics in an election year. (Reuters/Yuri Gripas)
In an announcement Hispanic evangelicals are applauding, President Obama has decided to stop deporting young illegal immigrants who came to the United States during their youth if they meet the requirements.

With the DREAM Act, undocumented immigrants get deportation immunity if they were brought to the United States before the age of 16 and if they are still below the age of 30. Other requirements stipulate that the immigrants must have been in the country for at least five consecutive years with no criminal history. They must also be high school graduates, GED-holders or be in the military.

"This is not amnesty, this is not immunity, this is not a path to citizenship, it's not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stop-gap measure," Obama said. "It makes no sense to expel talented young people, who for all intent and purposes are Americans.”

Samuel Rodriguez, president National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said Obama’s announcement protecting DREAM-Act-eligible young people from deportation is morally just, welcomed, practical, fair and worthy of celebration.

“As we prepare to celebrate Father's day this weekend, this announcement presents the antidote to the unfortunate separation of families. I applaud the president for his decision to protect the innocent who currently pay the price for a broken immigration system. Let me reiterate, justice at times marches, at times protests and at times sings,” Rodriguez said.

“Yet, justice will always speak on behalf of those that cannot speak for themselves. Today, justice spoke loud and clear, the dreams of all children stand worthy of protection. Today, we placed our feet at the edge of the Jordan. We may not be in the Promise Land yet, but today, our children can begin to contemplate a better life on the other side. Today, we left the desert of despair and began a true journey where the dream becomes reality."

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