To the editor:
A recent letter to the editor on President Obama's new immigration policy was misleading. This executive decision is not amnesty, illegal or unconstitutional.
Under the new policy outlined by the President, people younger than 30 who came the United States as children, have lived here for five years, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military can get a two-year deferral from deportation.
This seems like a sensible, compassionate act that brings these young people who are essentially Americans out of the shadows. They now listen to the same music and watch the same movies that their American friends do. In many cases they speak English better than Spanish, and in our schools they pledge their allegiances to the United States.
Deporting them would be cruel, separating them from family, friends and in many cases their source of livelihood.
This change in policy is a two year stopgap measure and not a pathway to citizenship, nor is it amnesty. Only Congress can pass legislation that will decide the fate of 11 million illegal immigrants in this country.
Because federal resources are limited, the president showed good judgment going after illegal immigrants that are criminals or a threat to this country, not young people who came here as children. Those people should be the target of our enforcement officials. The President's political opposition would like you to believe that he is soft on enforcing our immigrant laws, but that would be far from the truth.
Last year, the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement removed 396,906 illegal immigrants, the largest number in the agency's history.