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STATEMENT: CAP’s Angela Kelley on POTUS Protection for Undocumented Youth

President Takes Bold Step to Right the Wrongs of a Broken Immigration System

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Contact: Laura Pereyra
Phone: 202.741.6258

Washington, D.C. — Today President Barack Obama announced that the administration will allow DREAM Act-eligible students to apply for deferred action, granting them protection against deportation and the ability to get work authorization. The announcement extends to those who came to the United States age 15 or younger, have been in the country for at least five years, and are currently age 30 or younger. Center for American Progress Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy Angela Maria Kelley released this statement:

Today’s announcement by the White House that it will offer protection to undocumented youth who meet the DREAM Act requirements demonstrates extraordinary leadership and smart decision-making. The president is acting well within his authority and the secretary of homeland security is building on the agency’s enforcement strategy and wisely deploying its resources. In the absence of congressional action, the other branches of government need to step in and right the wrongs of our current broken immigration system.

The DREAMers, as they are appropriately named, were brought here at a young age and know no other home. They lack a piece of paper to make them legal but they don’t lack the dreams or desires to be anything but full Americans. Today’s decision does not solve the problem entirely; only Congress can grant them legal residency and citizenship. And today’s decision is not permanent; it can be undone with a stroke of a pen. But today’s decision does mark a turning point in the debate. This administration stood strong today and offered what no other administration has before it: a chance for the DREAMers to give back to the nation they call home.

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