A Primer On President Obama’s Sensible New Immigration Policy For ‘Dreamers’
President Obama took a bold step this past Friday when he announced that his Administration would no longer seek to deport “Dreamers” – young, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children by their parents, have been in the US for at least five years, and are law-abiding and willing to attend college or serve in the military. The decision has triggered wholly predictable outrage from nativist conservatives, combined with a politically motivated effort by a handful of Republicans to suggest that President Obama’s action would somehow prevent Congress from addressing this issue. The reality is that President Obama’s decision was the right one and that Republicans have stopped Congress from helping Dreamers for years.
President Obama’s new immigration policy will lift the threat of deportation from nearly one million Dreamers and is an important step towards making our immigration system fairer, more efficient, and more just. Therefore, it is critical that we all express our support for this step, and share the word about what the new policy is and why it is the right one. Here are some of the details.
The new Dreamers policy is set forth in a memorandum from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano that calls on immigration officials to use their prosecutorial discretion and not spend limited resources attempting to deport individuals who:
came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety; and
are not above the age of thirty.
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