Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the Obama administration’s announcement that it would stop deporting illegal immigrants who come to the country at a young age is “possibly illegal.”
“This type of policy proposal, regardless of motivation, will entice people to break our laws,” Graham said in another tweet.
The change in policy could allow as many as 800,000 immigrants who came to the United States illegally not only to remain in the country without fear of being deported, but to work legally, according to a senior administration official speaking to reporters Friday.
The new policy will not grant citizenship to children who came to the United States as illegal immigrants, but will remove the threat of deportation and grant them the right to work in the United States.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the policy change will apply to those who came to the United States before they were 16 and who are younger than 30 if they have lived here for five years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or served in the military.
The policy change will accomplish portions of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, legislation that has stalled in Congress amid Republican opposition. Graham has been a staunch opponent of the Democratic version of the act, which has massive support in the Hispanic community.
“President Obama chose politics over leadership,” Graham continued. “Hope and Change have become bait-and-switch. This is a classic Barack Obama move of choosing politics over leadership.”
“President Obama avoids the hard work of fixing an immigration system which is broken and fractured along numerous fronts,” he added.