President Obama Amnesthetizes the Kids

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, also known as the DREAM Act by acronym junkies, has been pending in both houses of Congress for years. It would help young people who came to the United States as minors. They are in a legal limbo: Otherwise law-abiding, they have no way to achieve legal residence. This was discussed in this blog on September 18, 2011.

Because Congress has been unwilling to act, on June 15, 2012, President Obama issued an executive order that allows roughly the same population permission to remain in the country and obtain two-year renewable workpermits. This would not be a comprehesive cure of the legal status of young adults who have proven their value as potential citizens, but it is step in the right direction.

The opposition is crying, “Foul!” Surprise, surprise!

Mitt Romney said on “Face the Nation,” “We need to get this done on a long-term basis, not this kind of stop-gap measure. What the president did — he should have worked on this years ago. If he felt seriously about this, he should have taken action when he had a Democrat House and Senate. But he didn’t. He saves these things for four-and-a-half months before the general election.” Significantly, Mr. Romney did not pledge to overrule the executive order, if elected.

Mr. Romney’s memory problems raise questions about his fitness for office. Has he forgotten that President Obama has been trying to pass the DREAM Act over Republican opposition since taking office? Mr. Romney criticizing the President for taking a stop-gap action when his own party is blocking legislation is like the president of the Teamsters criticizing a shipping company for not making deliveries while the truck drivers are on strike.

The President gets two thumbs up for taking badly-needed action to help young Americans find their places in the sun. This was a political move, and a canny one, but Mr. Romney has not ground for complaint. The Republicans have had three years to get on board and pass the DREAM Act. Not having done so, the handed the opportunity to act to Mr. Obama.


John B. Payne, Attorney
Garrison LawHouse, PC
Dearborn, Michigan 313.563.4900
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 800.220.7200
©2012 John B. Payne, Attorney

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