The change is part of a department effort to target resources at illegal immigrants who pose a greater threat, such as criminals and those trying to enter the country now, Napolitano said.
I get (and support) the concept of removing blanket illegal immigration practices, but what's the point of the bolded bit? If this measure is there to grant amnesty to illegals that have been here and proved themselves productive, law-abiding citizens, why would the old-fashioned blanket measures still apply to people coming into the country illegally right now
Because, as I often tell conservatives who misuse the term (usually after cringing), amnesty is when the laws remain unchanged, but you make an exception for a specific set of people who broke it during a particular time period. So granting amnesty to smugglers and gun runners who helped the fight during the revolution gets them off the hook for their actions during that time period, but does not make smuggling and gun running legal going forward. Granting late fee amnesty for returned library books lets those who meet the criteria avoid the penalties, but doesn't remove them for future late returns.
Letting people who've been in the country illegally for X years (and meet other criteria) stay is properly an amnesty (as close as the term fits at least given that immigration status is an ongoing thing). What is *not* amnesty would be say creating a new guest worker visa designed to allow those who might otherwise live here illegally a legal means to do so. It's not amnesty because you've actually changed the law to make what they're doing illegal (well, to make it easier for what they're doing to be done legally anyway).
If the bolded part wasn't there, it would require changing the law. If we just made it legal for anyone to enter the country without going through our immigration process going forward, then that's a change in the law. It's not an amnesty since the law you'd be granting them amnesty *from* has just changed such that their current actions are no longer illegal. It's a totally different thing and kinda important to make note of said difference.
No amnesty. Amnesty =residency. This simply buys a plane ticket, but doesn't put them a plane, capice?
Depends on how strictly we're going to apply the definition. Specifically, amnesty requires a documented act which frees someone of a negative effect for an action they have taken (or are taking). More broadly, it's anytime we choose not to apply said negative effects as a matter of policy. What we're doing here is creating a set of criteria under which we will not apply the laws. We're not even buying the plane ticket, just telling them they're here illegally, but we're not going to do anything about it.
Frankly, while I understand the motivation for this sort of thing (it appears on the surface to be humanitarian and whatnot), I think that this is worse in some ways. You're still maintaining a threat over the heads of these people since said amnesty could be lifted at any point. And from a political angle, you've created a enumerated group of political victims which can be used for political gain. Don't vote Republican, or they'll start deporting those poor innocent people we identified and set aside! Call me cynical, but I honestly don't think that the political left wants to "fix" our immigration issues. They get too much political power from keeping them in an eternal legal limbo.
Put them on the plane and send them home, and you can't constantly point to them as some group to be protected and helped. Grant them citizenship and you also can't do this. Even setting aside the potential political reasons for this, I just think that setting up rules but then allowing them to be broken (but just for now) is a crappy way to approach this issue.
Gotta stop those future anchor-babies, dontcha' know.
No such animal as an anchor baby anymore. There are other more stringent requirements that trump having a US-born child 99% of the time.
Officially and on paper, sure. But aren't we talking about subjective choices being made by our government in terms of how/when the law is applied? You don't think that said choice is influenced by whether a potential deportee has minor children who are US citizens? Again, this is why the habit of choosing to not apply the law consistently is a bad idea. It creates a disconnect between how the laws are "officially" and how they actually end out being implemented. So folks like you can insist that there's nothing in our immigration policies that allows for the anchor baby effect, yet clearly it is happening, because we don't follow the official rules and polices.
And also? I'm getting tired of the Obama administration failing to make the legal changes they want (or not bothering to try in some cases), but instead just selectively choosing which laws to enforce. At the end of the day, the executive branch's job is to enforce those laws, not re-write them to their own satisfaction. You don't like a law, then get it changed. In addition to being a crappy way of doings things (as I pointed out earlier), it is strengthening an already bad precedent of serious overreach of executive power. It's not about this issue. No matter how much you may agree with the action in this case, you will likely disagree with some future president using the same (now established) power in the future. That's a bad road to travel down. We separate out government into three branches for a reason. By empowering itself to selectively refuse to enforce laws, the executive branch effectively bypasses the other two entirely. That's a bad thing.