Secretary Janet Napolitano’s announcement this morning reaffirms President Obama’s commitment to smart and sensible immigration policies that prioritize immigration enforcement toward individuals who pose a threat to public safety. Young deserving people who are Americans in every way but on paper are not this Administration’s priority for removal. These young people came to this country as children. As the President has said many times, it makes no sense to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language. They have become productive members in our communities. They have grown up swearing allegiance to our flag. Yet they live in the shadows of America, without the possibility to realize their dreams.
This new policy is the latest in a series of steps the Department of Homeland Security has taken to improve upon the use of prosecutorial discretion. The point of this strategy is to ensure that our immigration enforcement can focus on high-priority individuals instead of clogging the system with low priority cases. The young immigrants who will be eligible under this policy are earnest, productive young people ready to contribute back to America in the fullest possible sense.
Specifically, Secretary Napolitano has directed DHS sub-agencies to implement this policy, under which eligible young individuals will be considered for deferred action on a case-by-case basis. To read the details of this policy, click here.
Already, leaders throughout the United States are expressing their support for this policy.
All of this is to say that supporting immigrant young people is smart policy. It makes sense for our communities, families, and schools. This policy makes sense for America.