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Obama Ends Deportation For Young Illegal Immigrants

Screen shot 2012-06-15 at 5.07.01 PM
Illegal Immigrant rights protest in the US/Mex...

From the Guardian:

The Obama administration has taken the biggest step towards granting legal status to undocumented immigrants in America in 25 years by ordering the end to deportations of law-abiding young people who came to the US as children.

Announcing the change in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday, Obama said that it would remove the fear of deportation from young people known as Dreamers. "These are young people who study in our schools, play in our neighbourhoods, pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their heart and minds, and in every single way but one: paper."

The dramatic shift gives about 800,000 people the chance of gaining temporary legal status to live and work in the US That makes this the most dramatic shift since Ronald Reagan granted an amnesty to 3 million largely Hispanic undocumented immigrants in 1987.

In a country sharply divided over what to do with the millions of people living illegally in the country, the controversial nature of the announcement was underlined by a heckler, later revealed to be Neil Munro of the the rightwing blog the Daily Caller, who broke into Obama's address. The president, clearly furious, berated Munro for interrupting him.

The president went on to say: "Put yourselves in [the Dreamers'] shoes. Imagine you've done everything right your entire life, only to suddenly face deportation to a country you know nothing about with a language that you do not speak."

Obama added that it made no sense to deport young people who were making an extroardinary contribution to the US economy.

The move was hailed by Latino and civil rights groups across America.

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