Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today welcomed new guidelines by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) clarifying the president's recently released Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration enforcement policy. The updated guidelines posted on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website confirm that deferred action beneficiaries are "lawfully present" under federal immigration laws.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer issued an executive order last Aug. 15 instructing state agencies to deny public benefits and state-issued identification to DACA recipients on the grounds that they were not legally present in the state. At least five other states followed suit. The new DHS guidance supersedes state-level rulemaking.
"Governor Brewer's executive order was callous pandering, and DHS is right to put social progress and our economy ahead of the tired politics of division," Grijalva said. "The new guidelines confirm that young immigrant students brought to the country as children are authorized to be here. That debate is over. State lawmakers and agencies should immediately take note.
"This is not the first time Governor Brewer has been on the wrong side of a ruling. Arizona cannot continue to invent its own immigration policiesevery time she reads a poll. It's cost this state too much. When the federal government, the business community and neighborhood activists agree on the need for a new approach, maybe it's time for the governor to listen."
According to a recent report from the Arizona Republic, "Brewer's administration said it is too early to say how the governor will respond to the updated guidelines."
As of this month, USCIS has received 407,899 requests for deferred action, including 14,069 by Arizonans. Of these, 394,533 have been accepted and 154,404 approved.These statistics and more are available from USCIS at http://1.usa.gov/140VByK.