President Obama issued an Executive Order today giving hope to young people who were brought to the US as children. New York Times reports:
The policy, effective immediately, will apply to people who are currently no more than 30 years old, who arrived in the country before they turned 16 and have lived in the United States for five years. They must also have no criminal record, and have earned a high school diploma, be in school or have served in the military.
These qualifications resemble in some ways those of the so-called Dream Act, a measure blocked by Congress in 2010 that was geared to establish a path toward citizenship for certain young illegal immigrants. The administration’s action on Friday, which stops deportations but does not offer citizenship or even permanent legal status, was a policy directive from the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration enforcement, and does not require legislation.
Sojourners emailed supporters today
Today the Obama administration announced that many young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children will be eligible for work permits — allowing them to come out of the shadows of looming deportation.
In response to the announcement, Jim Wallis said:
“The announcement from the White House today is very good news for nearly 1 million young people who have a dream of staying in the country where they have lived most of their lives. Instead of being placed in the deportation pipeline, they will receive work permits, enabling them to contribute to the nation and help build America’s future.”
This week a very broad and deep group of evangelical leaders called on the political leaders of both parties to fix the U.S.’s broken immigration system and protect “the stranger” whom Christ calls us to defend (Matthew 25:35). We believe our faithful witness, alongside the courage and perseverance of thousands of documented and undocumented youth, helped made today’s announcement a reality.
Show your support for this action through the Episcopal Public Policy Network where you can send a letter to thank Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.