A major immigration policy announcement has come out of the Department of Homeland Security and will shortly be confirmed by the White House – deportation of DREAM-Act eligible youth will cease.
In essence the DREAM Act that has existed in various forms for over a decade is no longer a DREAM, even if it happened through the back door of power.
Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano made the announcement today at 7:00am EST that “effective immediately certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.”
This announcement will be followed by the President, who will issue a statement in the Rose Garden at 1:15 EST. It is here that Obama is expected to announce an executive order radically changing current U.S. immigration policy.
This election-year change to immigration will protect nearly 1-million youth, the majority of which are Latino, that came to this country at a young age, are between the ages of 15-30-years-old, have lived here uninterrupted for five-years, have committed no crimes and have at least a high school diploma or GED.
Those in the midst of a deportation proceedings will not be deported and be allowed to stay in the U.S. For those that are of work age but unable to secure employment due to their immigration status will in effect receive work authorization.
This move with shore up if not guarantee the Latino vote for Obama but risky with the Independents and surely to enrage the Republicans that are opposed to the DREAM Act and lead its defeat back in 2010. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who vowed to veto the DREAM Act if elected, has not made an official comment as of this morning.
I, like so many other native born Hispanics, were touched and overwhelmed by the number of undocumented students who came out of the shadows at a great risk to advocate for their dream. We will be forever moved by students on their knees outside the Senate floor in December, 2010 praying and crying, by watching the Texas hunger strikers plead for respect, and those leading protests and coming out of the shadows.
Hispanic Americans never held these children accountable for the crimes, crimes of desperation, of their parents, and now obviously neither does the Obama administration.