US to stop deporting young adults under DREAM Act-like orders
Published: June 15, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Repeating over and over that "it's the right thing to do," President Barack Obama announced June 15 that effective immediately, the U.S. will stop deporting certain young people who are in the country illegally because they were brought to the United States as minors. The action -- taken under existing law that allows for prosecutorial discretion -- effectively creates an administrative version of the DREAM Act, legislation that enjoys popular, bipartisan support but has long languished in Congress. "It makes no sense to expel talented young people who for all intents and purposes are American," said Obama at a news conference from the White House Rose Garden. The new policy will make the system "more fair, more efficient and more just," he said. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a memo announcing the change that immigration laws "are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case. Nor are they designed to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language. Indeed, many of these young people have already contributed to our country in significant ways. Prosecutorial discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here." But Congress still needs to act, Obama said, and the sooner the better, because the changes are only a temporary fix. Among those hailing the announcement was Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Migration Committee. The young people to whom the action would apply "are bright, energetic, and eager to pursue their education and reach their full potential," said Archbishop Gomez's statement. He echoed Obama's point about needing more permanent action by Congress. "The action by the president today is no substitute for enactment of the DREAM Act in Congress," he said.
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