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New Immigration Policy is Only Public Relations Smokescreen

Yesterday’s announcement from the Obama administration that“prosecutorial discretion” should be used to allow undocumented students tostay in the US, and that enforcement efforts should instead focus ondeportation of criminals, is little more than a public relationssmokescreen.  Ever since the Administration confirmed that states may nolonger opt out of Secure Communities, advocates have come down hard on President Obama for failing to live up to promises made to immigrantcommunities in the US.

The fact is that the size of the detention system and the number ofdeportations under the current Administration are far outpacing those samenumbers under the Bush Administration, and plans to expand even furthercontinue to develop under President Obama’s direction. Undocumented studentsare no safer or more stable with this new announcement than they werepreviously: they still are subject to deportation at any time and have nopotential path to citizenship, regardless of the quality of their character,scholarship, work ethic, or ties to the community.