The Obama administration announced Friday that it would no longer seek the deportation of most young undocumented immigrants (NBC/MSNBC), and would instead allow them to apply for work permits under certain conditions, a significant policy shift with potentially major electoral implications.
Under the new plan, undocumented immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned sixteen and are younger than thirty, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed.
The shift essentially accomplishes many of the legislative intentions of the DREAM Act, an immigration reform bill that had stalled in Congress due to Republican objections. President Barack Obama favors the legislation, while presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has said he would veto that law.
Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney today kicks off a five-day bus tour through small towns across six battleground states (AP) aimed at connecting with undecided voters.
The “Believe in America: Every Town Counts” tour kicked off Friday morning at the Stratham,
New Hampshire, farm where he officially launched his 2012 bid just over a year ago. During the tour, Romney is expected to hold at least three formal events a day, but will also make impromptu stops at smaller venues along the way to meet and talk with voters.
The bus will make stops in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan–all considered states
to be in varying degrees of play for November (CBS).
President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney on Thursday offered dueling addresses on the economy in the bellwether state of Ohio (Politico). Obama emphasized that he is the candidate with the interests of the middle class at heart, while Romney said the president has been unable to lead an economic recovery, favoring policies that have made hiring harder on businesses and the economy worse (USAToday).
U.S. voters are significantly more positive about economic conditions in their local area and state than they are about the economy in the United States overall, says a new Gallup poll.
Those polled also said their ratings of the U.S. economy are more positive than their ratings of economic conditions in Europe and in the world as a whole.
Of those polled, 49 percent rate economic conditions in their local area as excellent or good, but the figure drops to 25 percent when rating the U.S. economy, and to 13 percent when assessing the world as a whole.
— Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor