President Barack Obama recently announced that his administration would stop deporting illegal immigrants who came here before age 16, have been in the country for five years, have no criminal record, are in school or have a high school diploma, or were honorably discharged from the military. This change is similar to some of the provisions of the DREAM Act, which has stalled in Congress, thanks to conservative opposition. The DREAM Act also includes a path to citizenship.
President Obama’s move generated a positive response—not just among Latinos, who, of course, are wildly enthusiastic. In a Bloomberg poll of all voters, Obama’s announcement received support by an overwhelming 64 percent to 30 percent.
This support should not be surprising because the public is quite supportive of the DREAM Act. In a recent Latino Decisions poll, the DREAM Act was backed by a decisive 62 percent to 33 percent margin.
Conservatives may weep and wail about Obama’s announcement. But it appears that the public agrees with the president: It’s the right thing to do.
Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis, go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.