Although I have no desire to discuss politics or the recent election, I feel it is important to discuss the current state of immigration law as it relates to Mitt Romney's statements about "amnesty" and undocumented children in the United States.
President Obama established a program in June of this year called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA). DACA allows young undocumented individuals to receive work authorization in the U.S. and protection from deportation for a period of two years. The requirements to qualify for DACA include:
- You must be between the ages of 15 and 31;
- You came to the U.S. before the age of 16;
- You have been in the U.S. for 5 years; and
- You have no serious criminal activity.
If you qualify for DACA, you must turn yourself in to the Department of Homeland Security and include evidence of the above qualifications in your application for the program.
DACA is not amnesty and it has nothing to do with the DREAM Act. It does not allow anyone to become a resident, a citizen, or to vote in the U.S.
Therefore, it is unclear why Mitt Romney has stated that President Obama gave amnesty to anyone, or that amnesty is now available. In general, his statements regarding immigration law are wholly inaccurate.