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Obama Immigration Actions Protect Children and Families
Ed Walz (Former Staff)Children of Immigrants
Washington – The Obama Administration today released a set of “immigration accountability executive actions” aimed at reforming the Nation’s broken immigration system. The reforms include the expansion of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by removing the upper age cap, extending the required date of entry to before January 1, 2010, and changing the program term to 3 years. The reforms also include a new 3-year renewable deferred action program for parents of U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) who have been in the country for more than 5 years and pass background checks, which has the potential to protect 4.5 million U.S. citizen children from losing parents to immigration enforcement actions. The parents of DREAMers who are not also parents of a U.S. citizen or LPR will not be eligible for relief under this new program. Altogether, the executive actions have the potential to provide an estimated 4.9 million individuals with relief.
Reacting to the Administration’s announcement, the bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus released the following statement by First Focus president Bruce Lesley:
“The Obama Administration acted where a divided Congress failed, delivering meaningful and common-sense reform for children in immigrant families. Because of President Obama’s leadership, millions of children will no longer have to live in fear of the government coming during the night to take their parents away. Now it is time for Congress to act on immigration reform that will promote the best interests of children and provide permanent relief for children and families.”