Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said Friday that the Obama administration’s new order limiting deportation was neither immunity, nor amnesty.
“A grant of deferred action is not immunity, it is not amnesty,” Napolitano told reporters. “It is an exercise of discretion.”
The Obama administration announced that it would stop deporting illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States before they were 16 and give them a work permit — as long as they met certain criteria including finishing high school and having a clean legal record.
Napolitano also said that the decision was not a pathway to either citizenship or permanent residency.
“I believe this action is the right thing to do,” Napolitano told reporters. “Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a strong, accessible manner.”