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.”

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An immigration rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington in April. The U.S. bishops' migration committee chair in a statement on July 18 urged President Donald Trump to "ensure permanent protection" for youth under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
U.S. bishops urge Trump administration "to continue administering the DACA program and to publicly ensure that DACA youth are not priorities for deportation."
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Callista Gingrich at a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing in Washington on July 18. Gingrich was nominated by President Donald Trump to be the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. Her husband is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. (CNS photo/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)
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Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago at a press conference in Chicago on April 4. (CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Chicago Catholic)
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