Friday, June 15, 2012
Reed Welcomes Obama’s Change in Immigration Policy
WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today welcomed President Obama’s directive allowing DREAM Act-eligible students to apply for deferred action, granting them protection against deportation and the ability to get work authorization. The announcement extends to certain undocumented young people who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria.
“I support the President’s decision to give bright, law-abiding, hardworking immigrant students an opportunity to remain in the U.S. and work without fear of deportation. This is a positive development. But it is only a temporary solution to a long-term policy problem that Congress needs to permanently solve. We need comprehensive immigration reform and we should pass the DREAM Act,” said Reed, a cosponsor of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.
Under the DREAM Act, students would be eligible to apply for legal status if they were brought to the U.S. before their 16th birthday, lived continuously in the U.S. since at least 2007, graduated from high school, passed a background check, and completed at least two years of college or military service in good standing.
In 2010, the DREAM Act was passed by the House of Representatives and received a strong bipartisan majority in the Senate, but was ultimately blocked by Senate Republicans in a lockstep procedural vote.
"It is disappointing that bipartisanship has gone into exile when it comes to immigration reform. But the President’s action today is an important step toward addressing this critical issue,” concluded Reed.