President Obama will announce a new immigration policy this morning that will allow some undocumented students to avoid deportation and receive work authorization.
Under the “deferred action” policy, a Department of Homeland Security directive, students in the U.S. who are already in deportation proceedings or those who qualify for the DREAM Act and have yet to come forward to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials, will not be deported and will be allowed to work in the United States.
An estimated 1 million young people could benefit from the deferral. To be eligible, applicants have to be between 15 and 30 years old, live in the U.S. for five years, and maintain continuous U.S. residency. People who have one felony, one serious misdemeanor, or three minor misdemeanors will be ineligible to apply. “Deferred action” will last for two years and can be renewed.
Obama is expected to speak about this new policy later today
Although deferred action doesn’t provide a path for citizenship like the DREAM Act would, this is an amazing step forward for DREAMers. The DREAM Act doesn’t stand a chance in the current Congress and this is one easy way the administration can help out younger undocumented immigrants. Here’s hoping that after November, Congress will be a friendlier place for immigration reform.