President Barack Obama is planning to extend the amnesty deadline for hundreds of thousands of young people living in the country illegally, according to The Daily Caller.
White House Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Munoz said Wednesday during an online immigration event with Vice President Joe Biden that Obama is set to extend his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
"As long as this president" is in power, "you will be able to renew your deferred action," Muniz said during a question and answer session on Skype.
Under the current two-year deferred action measure, the Obama administration has already granted amnesty to 567,000 young illegal immigrants, which allows them to work in any state, receive some government benefits, enroll in school and obtain a driver's license.
Some 21,000 young people have been ordered to leave the country since the deferred action program was put in place. The program is set to expire shortly before the midterm elections next November.
According to an August 2013 report by the Migration Policy Institute, one million young people are currently eligible for amnesty. To be considered, immigrants have to have been younger than 30 in June of 2012, when the program was set in motion.
During the online discussion, Munoz claimed that Obama's role in the amnesty was secondary to the Department of Homeland Security, saying, "The president doesn’t have the authority to suspend deportations."
Biden also downplayed Obama's role in the amnesty. "It is not the president saying, ‘I’m changing the law, you can stay," the vice president stressed. "He doesn’t have the authority to say that.”
The video chat was arranged by the Bing online search service run by Microsoft, which is lobbying Congress to increase the inflow of foreign workers.
The amnesty extension plan is expected to further anger Republicans in the House who have been working on various immigration measures, dealing with a number of issues, including the legal status of young immigrants here illegally as well as a new visa and work permit program. The Senate in June passed its own comprehensive immigration bill, wrapping all of the issues into one big package. The House, depending on if and when it acts, is expected to produce separate pieces of reform legislation to be voted on one at a time.
Meanwhile, a new Rasmussen poll has found
that 60 percent of Americans believe the U.S. government is not aggressive enough in deporting illegal immigrants and 64 percent want a secure border enforced before citizenship is granted to the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S., according to Townhall.com.
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