Mark Udall called President Obama's proposal to focus federal law enforcement resources on the deportation of violent felons and not non-violent youth brought to the United States as children a starting point, but urged Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
"As a Dream Act supporter, I am glad to hear the news today that President Obama is prioritizing deportation efforts on the most dangerous criminal offenders, not children brought here through no fault of their own," Udall said. "Congress still needs to pass the DREAM Act, which includes a responsible and fair path to fully integrating upstanding young men and women into American society. We cannot fully address the issue of undocumented workers with piecemeal immigration reform. But this new policy is a step in the right direction and I hope that Congress has the courage to pass comprehensive immigration reform, in part, to give businesses the certainty they need to grow our economy."
Udall has been an ardent supporter and co-sponsor of the DREAM Act.
The DREAM Act applies to young people who entered the United States before their 16th birthdays, are no older than 29 years and have been present in the United States for at least five years. The bill includes provisions that would require eligible individuals to apply for conditional legal status within one year of the bill's enactment or obtaining a high school degree or GED, and submit biometric information, undergo a background check and a medical exam, register for the Selective Service, and demonstrate the ability to read, write and speak English. Eligible individuals would remain in conditional legal status for no less than 10 years, during which time they must stay in good standing with the law. Only then will they become eligible to apply and wait their turns for citizenship.