Obama's deferred action

Obama's deferred action

CWS welcomes "deferred action" from deportation for 800,000 - 1,000,000 undocumented young people

Fact Sheet - How to Assist DREAMers
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

New York, NY, June 15, 2012 -- Church World Service (United Church of Christ is a member communion of Church World Service) welcomed the Obama Administration's announcement today of "deferred action" from the threat of deportation for an estimated 800,000 to one million DREAMers - undocumented immigrant young people who grew up in the United States and simply want to get an education, establish their lives and contribute to this country.

"Too many DREAM students were still among the 400,000 immigrants the United States deported last year," said CWS Immigration and Refugee Program Director Erol Kekic.  "This opportunity for deferred action means that as many as a million young people can finally rest easy and get on with their lives in the United States, the country that is their home."

By executive order, announced today (June 15), undocumentd immigrant may receive deferred action (for two years, renewable) and apply to work legally if they:

  • came to the United States at age 15 or younger and are now 30 or younger;
  • have lived here for at least five years as of today; are in school or have graduated from high school, earned a GED or served in the military;
  • have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or multiple misdemeanor offenses, and
  • do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Kekic noted that today's order is a big step toward fulfillment of the DREAM Act, but stops short of creating a path toward citizenship for eligible immigrant young people, "a goal we will continue to pursue."

"Most of these young people know no country but the United States," he said.  "Many do not remember their home country or language.  At the same time, they have so many talents to offer the United States.  Expelling them is tragic for them and shortsighted policy for the United States.  We need the DREAMers' youthful energy to keep renewing America."

Kekic urged the Obama Administration to stand by today's executive order and ensure that it is consistently and fully implemented by the Department of Homeland Security.