Keeping the DREAM Alive
Hundreds of thousands of young people who have lived in the U.S. for years — brought to the country without documents through no fault of their own — will be able to defer deportation and apply for work permits under a program recently announced by President Obama.
The president announced the new policy in the absence of congressional action on comprehensive immigration reform or the DREAM Act, a measure that would let law abiding young immigrants to stay in the U.S. in exchange for serving in the U.S. military or attending school. The idea of granting legal relief to young people who through qualifications has long been advocated by educators, the military, small business and organized labor as well as religious leaders from various faiths because it advances the nation’s economic and national security.
“They want to serve the country that is their home and we will benefit from their contributions,” said SEIU International Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina. An estimated 800,000 young immigrants could be eligible under the administrative order, which could take effect in mid-August.
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