President Obama’s decision to allow his version of the Dream Act and let the children of illegals stay here under certain conditions was a master stroke.

In one swoop he silenced his Hispanic critics and put GOP White House contender Mitt Romney on the back foot.

This country has a well-deserved reputation for empathy and fairness when it comes to immigration, but that has been lost in recent times.

Obama has reached back to an earlier time and allowed hundreds of thousands of young immigrants to dream again.

It was a remarkable step, but as The New York Times pointed out, one achieved with a great deal of hard work and effort by groups lobbying for Hispanics.

There is a lesson there for the Irish immigration lobby and others.

Pressure works.

President Barack ObamaJewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images