Today, President Obama announced that the policy of prosecutorial discretion—which allows immigration agents to defer deportation of low-risk, non criminal undocumented immigrants—will be expanded to all DREAM eligible youth. This is a huge win for the immigration reform movement, and comes as a result of years of tireless mobilization and agitation by DREAMers, undocumented immigrants, and immigrants’ rights activists and politicians.
The expansion in policy means that effective today, there will be an immediate halt to all deportation proceedings for DREAMers, and all DREAMers who are already in deportation proceedings will get deferred action (lasting two years) and work permits, if they meet eligibility. Any DREAMer who meets the criteria can come forward and apply for deferred action and a work permit as well.
While this is an exciting moment for the immigration reform movement, it is not an ultimate victory. This policy expansion still does not provide a path to citizenship for DREAMers. There is still a dire need for a national DREAM Act. The struggle continues, and electing pro-DREAM champions into office this November is as important as it has ever been.
Here are some of the details of the new policy:
To be eligible you must
- Be between 15 years or older and 30 years or younger may apply
- Be in US for at least 5 (as of today, 6/15/12)
- Have to have maintained continuous residence (relatively flexible interpretation)
There are no restriction on when you can apply (i.e. no window that closes after a year, for example)
Grants of Deferred Application are for 2 years and are renewable
Criminal Ineligibility: If you have been convicted of a felony, a serious misdemeanor or three minor misdemeanors not all stemming from same incident, then you are not eligible.
We estimate that as a result of this policy extension, nearly 1 million DREAMers will be spared from deportation. This is truly an exciting day.
Many don't know but I have always been a strong supprter for the DREAM Act. I believe that they deserve the chance to follow and live their dream. I have always signed petition, or adovated for it...so reading this made me truly happy!