After three years of insisting he had no power to do so, Obama (or, more specifically, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano) has ordered the courts to sift through over 300,000 pending deportation cases and throw out the low-priority ones.
This basically puts DREAM Act supporters and fighters against Secure Communities out of a lobbying job, as ICE agents will no longer have any reason to serve non-criminals with deportation papers (because they'll just get thrown out anyway).
Here's who will be pardoned, according to news reports:
DREAM Act students, pregnant women or those with small children, military vets, domestic-violence or human-trafficking victims, those who have lived here since they were children and those with family in the U.S. (including gay- or lesbian-bound families).With requisites this sweeping, everyone besides serial killers should be good to go. And Obama's big clemency announcement couldn't come at a more perfect moment for him, politically: He's been hurting for love from the booming Latino voter base, and will sorely need it in the 2012 election.
Still, the White House tells Univision this isn't political. Obviously that's a crock of crap, but who really cares right now? Y'all don't have to be scared of sitting in parks, driving in cars and committing other such "suspicious" (read: Mexican-looking) acts around a cop anymore.
It's hard to believe, really. Obama -- the same guy who turned America into deportation nation and sank millions more into border security than Bush -- is, at long last, caving to Latino pressure. Guess he finally realized Congress was going to hate him anyway, and doing wrong by humanity wasn't a worthy sacrifice.
Update: The Coalition for Humane Immigration Rights of Los Angeles still isn't happy. From their bittersweet statement today:
"Keeping millions in the darkness without immigration reform or administrative remedy, however, should ease no one's conscience or improve a failed immigration policy. Without necessary reforms such as the elimination of the "Secure Communities" (S-Comm) program, the updates announced today will remain nominal in comparison to the suffering our community is experiencing with the remaining uncertainty and the blind enforcement of our broken immigration laws."