Obama's DREAM

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer fights Obama's new immigration policy; Ryan uses the M word; and other top Thursday stories

By Alex Seitz-Wald
Published August 16, 2012 12:17PM (EDT)

DREAM-lite: Thousands of young undocumented immigrants lined up yesterday for the first day of enrollment in the Obama administration's new program to give immigrants who meet certain requirements work permits and legal status. “The public outpouring surprised both federal officials and immigrant advocates, who had expected an enthusiastic response to the Obama administration’s deferral program but were unprepared for the size and intensity of it,” the New York Times reports. The program accomplishes some of the goals of the long-deferred DREAM Act.

But some undocumented immigrants said they are going to wait until after the election before signing up, afraid that the policy could change if President Obama doesn’t win. If that happens, some even worried the information the government collects could potentially be used to deport them. "When people ask me about this, I always let them know, 'Just remember that they could take this away at any moment,'" Nathalia Narciso told NPR.

But in Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer, who has been one of the country’s most outspoken leaders against undocumented immigration, signed an executive order yesterday to punish immigrants who obtain work permits from the federal government. Her order directs state agencies to deny driver's licenses and other public benefits to immigrants who obtain work authorizations.

Ryan uses the “M word:” Rep. Paul Ryan invoked "Medicare" in a stump speech for the first time since being selected as Mitt Romney’s running mate this weekend, telling a crowd at his alma mater of Miami University of Ohio that his ticket welcomes a debate on the federal healthcare plan. “We want this debate, we need this debate and we will win this debate,” Ryan said.

In order to win in November, the Romney-Ryan ticket may have to win that debate on Medicare in the next three months, as their bid is now inextricably linked to Ryan’s Medicare plan. The plan has been wildly unpopular, but team Romney clearly believes they can dramatically shift Americans’ opinions. Part of that involves attacking Obama on the subject, and in an Ohio speech last night, Ryan did that by slamming his own Medicare savings plan -- that is, he slammed Medicare savings included in Obamacare that Ryan’s budget preserved. Ryan had supported that $700 billion in savings until a couple of days ago.

Julian Assange still causing trouble: An international incident is brewing in London over the fate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has taken refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy there. British authorities believe they have the legal right to enter the embassy and arrest Assange, so Ecuador has responded by threatening to give the hacker political asylum. The British government responded to that by saying it would be irrelevant in their decision to revoke the embassy’s diplomatic status as sovereign territory of the Latin American country and enter the building.

FRC shooting: Authorities are investigating the shooting of a security guard at the conservative Family Research Council yesterday in Washington, D.C., that appears to have been politically motivated. D.C. police are praising the guard, who was shot in the arm and is expected to recover, as a hero for stopping the attacker. The FBI is treating the event as an act of domestic terrorism. Groups from across the political spectrum have condemned the attack.

Alex Seitz-Wald

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2012 Elections Brief Immigration Immigration Reform Mitt Romney Paul Ryan