Washington, D.C. — Today the Department of Homeland Security begins collecting applications for deferred action for DREAM Act-eligible youth based on President Barack Obama’s June 15th announcement that if approved, will defer the deportation of DREAM Act-eligible youth and permit them to work legally in the United States. Center for American Progress Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy Angela Maria Kelley released the following statement:
Living up to its word, just sixty days after announcing that DREAM eligible youth may apply for deferred action, today the Department of Homeland Security began the process of accepting and reviewing applications that will allow DREAM Act-eligible students to apply for legal protections and the right to work in this country. Deferred Action will give up to 1.7 million young people, Americans in all but name, the ability to live here and support themselves and their families without a constant fear of being detained and deported.
Since actual adjudications will not take place for many weeks, the success of the program can’t be assessed by what happens tomorrow, the next day or many days to come. Still, the Department of Homeland Security deserves early credit for standing the program up quickly and thoroughly. We are hopeful that its implementation will meet the goals of the program and in the president’s words, “lift the shadow of deportation” from eligible young people.
Deferred action is not a permanent solution and does not confer permanent status. It can be revoked with the stroke of a pen by the next administration. Still, this program gives hope to so many people that have for so long lived in fear. It is good for the country, both morally and economically. But it is only the first step. As this program gets underway, we must renew our efforts to get Congress to pass real and lasting immigration reform, for all 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the country.
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