Senator Boxer applauds President Obama’s immigration announcement
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) issued a statement today after President Barack Obama announced his new policy regarding young adults who entered into this country as children. According to Boxer, the policy will ensure they will be able to remain in the United States without the constant threat of deportation.
“I applaud President Obama for helping these talented young people continue to contribute to the country they call home. It was the right thing to do, and now Congress must take the next step by passing comprehensive reforms that will fix our nation’s broken immigration system,” said Boxer. The new policy will take effect immediately.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano outlined the requirements to be considered for relief from removal from the country. Individuals who demonstrate that they meet the following criteria will be eligible for an exercise of discretion, specifically deferred action, on a case-by-case basis:
- Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
- Have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
- Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
- Are not above the age of thirty.
Individuals must have verifiable documentation that they meet these criteria to be eligible. They will not be eligible if they are not currently in the United States and cannot prove that they have been physically present in the United States for at least 5 years.
“Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner,” said Secretary Napolitano in a press release. “But they are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case. Nor are they designed to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language. Discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here.”
USCIS and ICE will begin implementation of the application process within 60 days. For individuals who are in removal proceedings, meet eligibility criteria and have been offered an exercise of discretion as part of ICE’s ongoing case-by-case review, ICE is expected to offer them deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal.
According to the department, “DHS continues to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a national security or public safety risk, including immigrants convicted of crimes, violent criminals, felons, and repeat immigration law offenders. Today’s action further enhances the Department’s ability to focus on these priority removals.”
Anyone seeking more information on the new policy should visit USCIS’s website (www.uscis.gov), ICE’s website (www.ice.gov), or DHS’s website (www.dhs.gov). Beginning Monday, individuals can also call USCIS’ hotline at 1.800.375.5283 or ICE’s hotline at 1.888.351.4024 during business hours with questions.