Respondents were evenly divided in this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll on President Barack Obama’s executive action to stop deporting some young illegal immigrants.
Obama announced an executive order last Friday that will allow 800,000 or more illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to apply for work permits and not be at risk for deportation. Just six Snap Poll responses separated the two, with a slight edge to those in support of the president’s action.
Unlike the stalled DREAM Act, the directive would not provide a path to permanent legal status. Individual reprieves would be valid for two years but could be renewed. Nearly 60 percent of RBJ Snap Poll respondents support the DREAM Act, which is an acronym for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act.
To be eligible for “deferred action,” an illegal immigrant would need to meet several criteria including that the individual:
• Came to the United States under the age of 16 and is not older than 30;
• Has continuously resided in the United States for at least five years;
• Is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. military; and
• Has not committed a serious crime and is a threat to national security or public safety.
• Roughly 750 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted June 19 and 20.
Do you support or oppose the presidential action to stop deporting some young illegal immigrants?
Do you support or oppose the DREAM Act, which would create a path to U.S. citizenship for some illegal immigrants?
We’re a nation of immigrants. Many of the young people being deported aren’t even aware that they’re not American citizens until they apply for college aid and discover they don’t have the right papers. It’s not in America’s best interest to send them away to a country they have never known.
If there were a law against pesticides and computers, repealing the law would bring many benefits. Similarly, a law allowing more resources for the economy in terms of an educated labor force would be good. So I applaud the effect of the president’s act. However, the president is refusing to enforce a law passed by Congress, and I believe the president acted unconstitutionally.
—Peter Durant, Nixon Peabody
I was at the RIT Engineering School’s graduation this spring. Almost all of the master’s recipients were foreign-born. With proper vetting, they should have all gotten their green cards with their graduation documents. We should welcome all that engineering talent into our country with open arms.
Let’s be real! The only people who are legally here are Native Americans. The rest of us have no business pointing fingers.
—J.P. Gleason, Gleason Fund Raising Consultants
What about the word “illegal” do people not understand?
—Frank Gerham Jr.
The fairest portion of any immigration reform would be to bestow citizenship on all honorably discharged and crime-free members of the U.S. armed forces. These ladies and gentlemen protected our country.
We currently have (and have always had) “laws on the books” as to how an immigrant can become a U.S. citizen. They have worked for many years, and they will still work effectively if enforced by our government (and the president). An executive order, when there are long-standing laws on the books, is not the way to handle the situation. This is all about getting votes in the upcoming presidential election this year, i.e., totally politically motivated.
—George Cook, professor, UR
I think it is about time for someone with leadership to step up and provide a framework for these children of illegal immigrants who have largely demonstrated their intentions to be good citizens. Since the Congress has failed to act over the past 10 years to produce legislation that would enable this issue to be voted or acted upon, I applaud the president for his moral and compassionate action. I only hope that the new Congress will finally be drawn to action and resolve the dilemma for the many who are looking for a permanent solution.
We need to have a comprehensive plan dealing with the entire issue of immigration and oversight instead of implementing bits and pieces of a plan that is not well thought out and is clearly for political gain only.
What some people will do to get votes in November.
—Jim Duke, Victor
Enforce the law as it is written. Or, Congress can write a new law if their constituents demand it! A president can only grant “amnesty,” not write new laws. Amnesty is what this is!
—George Thomas, Ogden
I believe we can find a way to have immigrants here on a temporary basis as well as a way where they are readying themselves for citizenship. Temporary basis can be for seasonal work, education, medical treatment, or other valid reasons. I do not believe we should allow any illegal immigrants here without a purpose or documentation. We should deport all those who will not agree to terms covering allowances for the previous reasons. Anyone seeking citizenship should have a sponsor who will be responsible for the immigrants and ensure they will not be a burden to our society through welfare, social security or medical reasons. The sponsor shall be responsible for all the immigrant’s needs or ensure the immigrant will be capable of paying and fulfilling these needs. Any immigrants guilty of a crime here or wanted elsewhere shall be immediately deported to their host country’s jail system. We need immigrants to do the jobs our own people will not do. In many cases, they are more skilled to do these jobs and work more efficiently at them. We need to find a way to accommodate these people if we do not already have the means to do so. Anyone employing immigrants shall report the immigrant to the authorities who should ensure they are documented, not security risks, and responsible people. Employers shall be responsible for collecting all taxes and payments and remitting these to the proper departments. Anyone caught in the US with falsified documents of any kind shall be deported. We can find a way to make this work. We just have to get the jerks in Congress to get off their duffs and work together to get something done. Unfortunately the U.S. Congress has become almost as dysfunctional as the New York State government (although New York State is getting better).
I support the action and oppose the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act is a document most likely too long to comprehend. Furthermore, it would not exist in its present form once Congress manipulated it. The action is simple, understandable and the right thing to do. I do not encourage the president to act unilaterally. On the other hand, somebody finally did the right thing. He has helped those who are just like everyone else here except for their illegal status. I’d like to find one Native American who hasn’t wondered why the rest of us have not deported ourselves based on our criteria. I am a fiscal conservative and lean strongly right on most issues. Having read the words on the Statue of Liberty and consider them a formula for what makes America the greatest country on earth, I encourage all of the right side to embrace this alleged left-sided position.
The president is now in the position of enforcing those laws that he likes and/or are politically popular and not enforcing those that he doesn’t like (defense of Marriage Act, as well). The Constitution doesn’t give him that right.
It is time to quit playing games with this issue! I oppose only because Obama is making it a “vote-getting” issue among the Hispanics. I am in favor of “States Rights” on this issue; after all it is the states that “pay the bill” in more ways than one.
—J.A. DePaolis, Penfield
I didn’t hear any rationale from the administration on why this was done now instead of three years ago. So I have to assume it was not a moral imperative to Obama. I also have not heard any rationale from the administration on how this helps American citizens. So I guess this is just an act of political pandering to help Obama get reelected.
When it comes to immigration, I can only support something that has been passed by Congress, not a presidential edict. Congress is there to reflect the will of the people, passing laws that are in accordance to the Constitution. I would think someone as brilliant as Obama is supposed to be would understand that, particularly since he has said it more than once in the past. We are a nation of laws, not of presidential dictates.
—Bob Worden, Penn Yan
I think it’s great the president is calling Mitt (flip-flop) Romney’s bluff. The term “self- deportation” is a joke; does anyone know of anybody who would self-deport?
Of course I’m against it. It’s completely reactionary. We should be proactive by providing the rest of the world’s population with the same entitlements that we have here in their own country! That way they don’t have suffered the hardship of trying to get here. I mean, come on people! We are a rich country!
—Devon Michael, Chili
I don’t support anything Obama does.
—Daniel Mossien, architect
While the law-abiding citizens of the United States “cross their t’s and dot their i’s”; the Obama Administration continues to ignore the enforcement of various immigration laws because he does not agree with them. What part of “illegal alien” doesn’t President Obama get? He is making a mockery of our country and should be thrown out of office.
—John Rynne, president, Rynne, Murphy & Associates Inc.
I’d like to hear from any person who would deport a young person who has been honorably discharged from our military. While you and I were enjoying our hots and hamburgers on Memorial Day, those brave young people were out in the world risking their lives protecting us. This action by the president is a great move and the least we can do for them. And in a country that’s falling behind in education levels among its population why would we want to deport some kids who’ve actually graduated. We need them to help boost the education level of our country so we remain competitive. Brave and talented young people from any background are a benefit to our nation.
The “devil is in the detail” on all of these “amnesty programs.” What if the an illegal has graduated from high school, then decides to have four to five children with four to five different fathers all supported by public assistance? This is the problem with a “welfare state.” I believe in totally open borders, but not welfare for life. I believe in unemployment insurance that is limited in duration. Our public assistance is a better deal than what the majority of people in Asia and Africa live under, so totally open borders would bankrupt the U.S. Unfortunately, it’s the “welfare state” that causes us to manage our immigration and we are condemned forever to squabbling over who we let in.
—Jerry Lighthouse, C.P.M., CPIM Advanced Purchasing Technology LLC
I would support a version of the DREAM Act passed by congress. This executive order plainly circumvents a strong legislative jurisdiction.
This is backdoor amnesty for the whole family. The next plea will be to allow the rest of the family to stay with the child because separation would be “too cruel.” It’s time to respect people who immigrate legally. It’s time to respect the taxpayer by not bailing out irresponsible people, unions, and businesses.
The DREAM Act is wrong on so many points as policy or as benefit to the U.S., that neither time nor space allows for proper comment. However, that being said, the president—acting against and above the will of Congress on a matter that is constitutionally theirs to authorize—indicates not only the president’s disregard and disrespect for the Constitution and our nation’s laws, but his innate belief in his own invulnerability as a political figure. Of course, the mainstream press will not challenge this: he is (still) their darling. The fact is that what he has done is a far, far greater danger to the long-term health of this formerly great country than anything either Nixon or Clinton ever did, and one was almost impeached (he resigned first) and the other was impeached. Congress should act, and act soon, on bringing charges for what is an unconstitutional and treasonous act.
Some 923 executive orders in 40 months. That’s even more than the little dictator Hugo Chavez down in Venezuela. While the issue of immigration reform needs to be addressed, the self-proclaimed constitutional law professor—a.k.a, Obama—seems to forget Congress makes the laws, the executive enforces the laws. This move by Obama is strictly the latest pandering to another group or class of people he needs for re-election. If it is “the right thing to do,” why did he not push these two years ago, when he had both the House and Senate in control by his own party? What group or minority is next for his pandering? Native Americans? Asian-Americans? Disabled Americans? It’s a long list, and there’s lots of time between fundraising and golfing!
—Al Kempf, East Rochester
Our country has gained generations of benefit by allowing my eight great grandparents entry. We need immigration policies that encourage the continuation of these benefits.
—Roy Kiggins, Seneca Falls
Immigrants are a major part of our county’s history. We should embrace all immigrants that come to this country legally, not illegally. Our president does not see the need to control this problem, just to invite more to break the law.
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