Melissa released the following statement today in response to President Obama’s announcement that federal immigration authorities would no longer deport DREAM Act-eligible youth.
“Today’s announcement marks an incredible step forward in the fight for justice for immigrant youth and families,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I thank the President for taking action to ease the plight of some of our nation’s DREAMers and ensure that when these young people find themselves in deportation proceedings they are not sent back to countries that they barely know. My hope is that this new administrative policy change serves as another step toward passage of the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform for all of the millions of undocumented families living in the U.S. Congratulations to all of the young people and immigration advocates whose tireless work made this victory possible.”
This new administrative policy, which allows for deferred action on deportation cases involving young undocumented immigrants, takes effect immediately, and applies to immigrants under the age of 30 who arrived in the country before they turned 16 and have lived in the U.S. for five years. To qualify for relief, they must not have a criminal record, and have earned a high school diploma, be in school or have served in the military. Those who obtain deferred action can remain in the United States and can also apply for work authorization.