will receive 'deferred action,' work authorization
The Obama Administration is implementing a stripped-down version of the DREAM Act, and will stop deporting young illegal immigrants who came to this country with their parents and have a clean criminal record while in the United States, 1200 WOAI news reports.
To be exempt from deportation, the young person must have been under 16 years old when he or she was brought to the U.S. by illegal immigrant parents, have lived in the U.S. for five years, have not been convicted of a felony or a 'significant misdemeanor,' or multiple misdemeanor offenses and must not be judged to 'pose a threat to national safety and security.'
The person must also be current in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or be honorably discharged by the U.S. military or the Coast Guard.
"Our nation's immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner," Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said. "But they are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case."
She says many of these people came to the U.S. at the peak of Latin American immigration in the 1990s and 2000s, and many of them did not even realize they were no legal residents of the U.S.
"These are productive young people who would be deported 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."
Napolitano says people who are eligible will receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.