President Barack Obama contributed an op-ed to Time in which he explains his decision to no longer deport illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. In it, the President argues that the naturalization of some 800,000 immigrants is the right thing to do for our economy, our national security, and that “above all, it is the right thing to do, period.”
In the opinion piece, the President defends his decision to issue an executive order to make some 800,000 illegals naturalized U.S. citizens, a decision that has received a fair amount of controversy and support. “They are Americans in their hearts and minds, in every single way but one: on paper,” writes the President. “They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants, and often have no idea that they’re undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver’s license, or a college scholarship.”
“It makes no sense to expel talented young people, who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans. They’ve been raised as Americans and know this nation as their own. To expel these young people who want to staff our labs, or start new businesses, or defend our country simply because of the actions of their parents or because of the inaction of politicians makes no sense,” said the President.
In the piece, President Obama stresses that his executive order isn’t unilateral amnesty, political immunity, or even a path to citizenship. It’s a temporary measure until Congress passes the DREAM Act. “It got 55 votes in the Senate, but Republicans blocked it. The bill hasn’t really changed since Republicans co-wrote it. The need hasn’t changed,” said the President, adding, “The only thing that has changed, apparently, is the politics.”
Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon thanked President Obama for his “unprecedented” decision, calling the executive order, “very just,” and thanking the President for “the valor and courage that you had in implementing this action.”
President Obama’s full op-ed can be found here. What do you think? Does the President make a compelling argument?