Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) applauded the announcement by President Obama today that people under 30 who arrived in the U.S. as children can receive deferred action on deportation for two years, subject to renewal, and legal eligibility to work.
"This announcement marks a landmark change in immigration policy. It provides a ray of hope for those who were brought to the United States as very young children through no choice of their own and built lives in our communities. The only country they know is America. They pledge allegiance to the flag in school every day. They have grown up in our communities, and they love this country," Rep. Eshoo said.
"This important policy change reflects the best of America. As a strong supporter of the DREAM Act and keeping families together, I'll continue to work in Congress to codify and expand these changes, ensuring they endure through future Administrations."
The policy change involves the use of "prosecutorial discretion" to defer deportation orders for "DREAM-eligible" young people who arrived here before age 16, have lived here for five years or more, have pursued education or service in the military, and are currently under age 30. People granted deferred action can apply for work authorization.
Only individuals who can prove they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action. Individuals will not be eligible if they are not currently in the U.S. Deferred action requests are decided on a case-by-case basis. The use of prosecutorial discretion does not change immigration status or provide a pathway to citizenship; only Congress can confer these rights through legislation.