Step Toward Reform?

The White House will halt the deportation of as many as 800,000 young illegal immigrants and in some cases give them work permits, in a sweeping new initiative announced by the Department of Homeland Security. People under 30 who entered the country illegally or overstayed their visas when they were under the age of 16 will be immune from deportation if they have not committed a significant misdemeanor or felony and have graduated from a U.S. high school or joined the military. They can apply for a renewable two-year work permit, which will not provide a path to citizenship but will allow them to work legally in the country. Applicants will have to prove they have lived in the country for five consecutive years. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the move “is the right thing to do,” and will help the agency focus on deporting criminals. “It is not immunity; it is not amnesty,” she said. “It is an exercise of discretion so that these young people are not in the removal system.”

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

A rally hosted by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont for a Nebraska Democrat prompted a flurry of questions about the party's pro-choice orthodoxy.
Michael O'LoughlinApril 24, 2017
Omaha Democratic mayoral candidate Heath Mello waves to supporters at a rally on April 20.  (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
The expulsion of pro-life candidates may doom the Democrats to minority status.
Robert David SullivanApril 24, 2017
Miroslava Breach Velducea. Photo courtesy of Patricia Mayorga.
Four attacks on reporters in such a short timespan have shocked Mexico, already a country press freedom organizations say is one the most dangerous in the Western Hemisphere for journalists.
Jan-Albert HootsenApril 24, 2017
At Rome's Basilica of St. Bartholomew, a shrine to modern martyrs, Pope Francis presided over an evening prayer service April 22, honoring Christians killed under Nazism, communism, dictatorships and terrorism.