The historic announcement President Barrack Obama made Friday afternoon has sparked interest in Valley congressmen, Blake Farenthold, Henry Cuellar and Ruben Hinojosa.
Obama TMs administration announced that they will stop deporting and begin giving work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives.
Under the Obama administration's plan, the following illegal immigrant students would qualify for a work permit:
Came to the country under the age of 16 Have lived in the US for at least 5 years Be in school, a US Veteran or have graduated No criminal history
In a statement released Friday, Congressman Blake Farenthold said, Representing the border, I sympathize with children that are the victims of illegal immigration and applaud the President for proposing a solution to this problem. Unfortunately, the President has once again exceeded his Constitutional authority, by bypassing Congress and choosing which laws to enforce and not to enforce in a blatant attempt to gain votes in an election year.
Action 4 News spoke to Congressman Cuellar during a Skype call to get his perspective on this upcoming change.
Congressman Cuellar said, Well first of all, this is not amnesty this is a deferment. I do support it. It TMs almost a temporary Dream Act for two years. It shows us that we have to work and get a comprehensive immigration reform. I think there will be some people in my district that will be affected by the President TMs proposal, and it will be a boost in colleges and even in the northern part of my district. Eventually most Democrats and Republicans will have to sit down and talk about immigration reform, because the last time we had immigration reform was in 1986. President Reagan did an amnesty and I don TMt believe in amnesty. I think people should look at immigration reform in three ways. One, border security, two, reasonable guest worker plan, and three, we have to somehow legalize those 11 to 12 million undocumented aliens we have here in the United States. But again, if one of those aliens has a criminal record, that person should not stay in the United States. Only lawful citizens that want to live by the rules. The people who have followed the process should go first.
In a statement released Friday, Congressman Ruben Hinojosa said, "What this administration has done is a step in the right direction but it is just the beginning. We must all recognize the fact that these young Dream Act students are Americans and should be treated as such and that includes the rights all U.S. citizens enjoy. During a Democratic majority, we in the House of Representatives voted to pass the Dream Act, but unfortunately it was the Senate that halted the American Dream for these children. The wrong must be made right. They deserve a path to U.S. citizenship without fear of reneging or reprisal."