Today Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, an original co-author of the DREAM Act, praised President Obama's decision to grant relief to young people who, through no fault of their own, are undocumented and living under the daily fear of deportation. The move comes after a long period of consultation with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
"Today's announcement represents a long overdue step forward for our nation and for the thousands of undocumented children who have called America home for most of their lives," said Rep. Roybal-Allard. Ending the deportation of DREAM Act-eligible youth makes both moral and fiscal sense, freeing up our immigration authorities to focus on dangerous offenders. This new policy reflects what I've always believed: Kids who grow up in our communities, work hard in the classroom, know no other country and love America like we all do, deserve the chance to stay here."
"With this decision, President Obama has once again demonstrated his unswerving commitment to giving every child a fair shot at the American dream. Of course, the struggle for immigrant rights is far from over. Now the challenge for all of us in Congress is to duplicate the President's courage and compassion. We owe it to these patriotic kids to finally pass the DREAM Act and give them a chance to become citizens of the only country they have ever known."
Under the new policy, undocumented youth who grew up in this country and came here under the age of 16; are currently in school or have graduated from high school or obtained a GED, or are honorably discharged veterans from the Coast Guard or the Armed Forces of the United States; and have not been convicted of a serious crime will be eligible for deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. This administrative action will enable them to legally live and work in the United States.