There are many questions raised by President Obama's announcement on immigration policy Friday. Obama announced an administrative order that will allow hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to stay in the country and work. Illegal immigrants will not be deported if they can prove they were brought to America before age 16 and are under age 30, if they have been in the country five continuous years, have no criminal history, have a high school diploma or GED, or have served in the military. This order does not grant them amnesty or immunity.
Why is the president doing this now? Because it is an election year and he needs the hispanic vote in November. This is a bald-faced political move, and a poor way to set policy.
This is the kind of issue that should be debated in Congress and made into policy by legislation that won't change by the next occupant of the White House. Illegal immigrants who may feel a sense of relief with the president's announcement must be aware that their security may be short lived. They and their supporters will do what they can to assure Obama get another four years.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's response was a measured one. He did not say on Sunday's news shows whether he would reverse the president's order if elected, but said the policy would be made irrelevant "by virtue of my putting in place a long-term solution, with legislation which creates law that relates to these individuals such that they know what their setting is going to be, not just for the term of a president but on a permanent basis."
That is how national policy should be made.