The Obama administration announced Thursday it will halt deportations of many undocumented students and other low-priority immigration offenders through a new policy that will not require Congressional approval.
Under the new policy, deportations will be suspended on a case-by-case basis for those individuals who pose no threat to national security, according to a New York Times article. The federal government will review 300,000 pending cases to determine who qualifies for relief under the new proceedings and who should be expelled from the country immediately. Among those who might qualify for a reprieve, administration officials said, are students brought to this country illegally who are planning to enter college or join the military.
This plan, while heralded as a success by undocumented students around the country, is only a patchwork solution to the overall issue of immigration reform. Much like U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan's newly proposed waiver plan that is buying time for the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, this policy, too, will act as a temporary solution. U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said the proposal will not alleviate the need for comprehensive immigration reform in the future.
If enacted, this policy could help thousands of students go to college or serve in the armed forces, despite their immigration status, something those in favor of the DREAM Act bill have been trying to do for over a decade.