UPDATE: New Information on President Obama's Deferred Action Program
On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced that his administration will stop deportations of DREAM Act-eligible youth. The administration will also grant, on a case-by-case basis, work authorization to young people who came to the U.S. more than five years ago, before age 16, and have not yet turned 30. The following is a statement from Judy London, Director of Public Counsel's Immigrants' Rights Project.
The announcement today is full of hope for hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the U.S. as children, educated in American schools, and played by the rules. They are our next generation of teachers, lawyers, entrepreneurs and leaders -- if we will let them.
Every year Public Counsel and our hundreds of pro bono partners represent youth whose lives, through no fault of their own, are on hold. We help young people who are victims of abuse or trauma to find new families and get a new start, and we represent many of those who would be helped by today's announcement.
While our nation's leaders have delayed dealing with this issue, youth across the country have not. Just last week we received great news about a young person from Guatemala. Brought to this country as a young girl, she did not want to live her life in hiding. So she took a chance and applied for immigration relief. It could have led to her deportation, but instead led to a fresh start when her petition for asylum was granted. Today's announcement makes it much more likely that young people such as her will take that chance.
These choices for immigrant youth aren’t easy. That’s where Public Counsel and our pro bono partners come in.
• We must educate young people about these new rules so they can take steps toward their futures.
• We must protect young people from fraud. Young people are desperate to start their lives and vulnerable to notarios and others who will prey on them.
• We must represent young people as they come out of the shadows and into the light of this new day.
In the months ahead we will be thinking about new opportunities for you to use your skills as attorneys and advocates to help our nation's young people. We hope you will join us.