- The Washington Times - Monday, June 18, 2012

As an international summit in Mexico got under way Monday, Mexican President Felipe Calderon thanked President Obama in person for his decision to stop deporting young adults who are in the U.S. illegally.

The Mexican leader, who is playing host to the Group of 20 summit in Los Cabos, praised Mr. Obama’s “valor and courage” for taking the executive action on immigration Friday.

Mr. Calderon called the move “unprecedented” and said at the summit that he’s sure many families in the U.S. are thanking Mr. Obama as well.

On Friday, Mr. Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano announced they would categorically stop deporting illegal immigrants younger than 30 who were brought to the country before they were 16, have been here for at least five years, and have completed high school, earned an equivalency diploma or joined the U.S. military.

Those criteria are similar to the Dream Act, which never passed Congress but would have granted a path to citizenship to most illegal immigrants younger than 30.

The move, which Mr. Obama previously insisted he didn’t have the power to make, put presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on the defensive. Mr. Romney didn’t say whether he would revoke the action if elected, but he did say Mr. Obama´s move was all about election-year politics.

“The timing is pretty clear,” Mr. Romney said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “If he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these children or with illegal immigration in America, then this is something he would have taken up in his first 3½ years, not in his last few months.”

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