New Immigration Policy is Only Public Relations Smokescreen
Yesterday’s announcement from the Obama administration that “prosecutorial discretion” should be used to allow undocumented students to stay in the US, and that enforcement efforts should instead focus on deportation of criminals, is little more than a public relations smokescreen. Ever since the Administration confirmed that states may no longer opt out of Secure Communities, advocates have come down hard on President Obama for failing to live up to promises made to immigrant communities in the US.
The fact is that the size of the detention system and the number of deportations under the current Administration are far outpacing those same numbers under the Bush Administration, and plans to expand even further continue to develop under President Obama’s direction. Undocumented students are no safer or more stable with this new announcement than they were previously: they still are subject to deportation at any time and have no potential path to citizenship, regardless of the quality of their character, scholarship, work ethic, or ties to the community.