National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

Media

Homeland Security Announces Strong Guidance on Administrative Relief for DREAMers

August 03, 2012

Washington, D.C. — On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released information about the process to request deferred action. A grant of deferred action would freeze deportation proceedings of DREAM Act–eligible youth and give them an opportunity to work legally in the U.S. — at least temporarily. Information released today clarifies details about fees, forms, processing of requests, how collected information will be used for enforcement, and disqualifying factors. The following is a statement by Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum.

“We welcome today’s guidance on this powerful initiative that will bring many aspiring young immigrants a step closer to realizing their dreams. Thanks to deferred action, these American-raised, hardworking young immigrants will finally have a chance to put their diplomas to work.

“The Obama administration made a smart law enforcement decision to prioritize the deportation of real public safety threats instead of going after our next generation of nurses and engineers. Homeland Security enforcement resources should be targeted at enemies of our country, not law-abiding students.

“Today’s announcement, which provides further information about the process, is a welcome one. The process must be clear, fair, uniform, accessible and affordable to ensure that all deserving youth that qualify benefit from this historic program.

“We are heartened by DHS’s inclusion of confidentiality protections in the deferred action process. This will help quell concerns among eligible DREAMers that their request for deferred action might put their undocumented parents or siblings at risk of deportation. Today’s announcement also shows that DHS is on guard against scammers looking to prey on desperation in immigrant communities.

“We look forward to effective implementation of this initiative and the economic and community benefits it will deliver. This temporary effort should inspire bipartisan congressional action to create a workable immigration process that allows these promising aspiring citizens to stay permanently in the only country they call home, and to have a fair shot at the American dream.”

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