President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met in the Oval Office on Tuesday with three people who are in the country in violation of U.S. immigration laws but who have received “deferred action” allowing them to stay in the country under the terms of a “memorandum” issued unilaterally last year by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
While conceding that she had no legal authority to change the “immigration status” of illegal aliens or provide them with a “pathway to citizenship,” Napolitano instructed the top officials at Customs and Border Protection, Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to use what she called “prosecutorial discretion” in not enforcing the immigration laws against certain classes of immigration lawbreakers.
These included illegal aliens who arrived in the United States before their sixteenth birthday, had graduated from high school or served in the military, had not been convicted of “significant” or “multiple” misdemeanors, and had not yet turned thirty.
Before Napolitano issued this unilateral order allowing the illegal aliens to remain in the country in violation of the law, President Obama’s allies in Congress had failed to secure passage of the Dream Act, which would have allowed such persons to became legal residents in the United States.
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