Deferred action instead of Dream Act!

Posted in Policy, Students at 8:49 pm by Lalita Haran

On june 15th, 2012, the government announced that certain young foreign nationals would be eligible for 2 yr. deferred action benefits that would be renewable. These individuals, although unlawfully present, could avoid deportation for the said period. Welcome step by Secretary Napolitano trying to fill in the gap sought to be bridged by the Dream Act.

The government memo holds off removal of unlawful but educated foreign nationals for two years. The profferred benefit is available only to those who entered the United States during their childhood and are still in the country for atleast 5 years with no noticeable criminal background. The announcement leaves much to be desired but largely reiterates the existing policy of prosecutorial discretion. Eligible individuals should be pursuing or have completed certain educational degree or diploma and include honorably discharged veterans.

Deferred action is certainly not a substitute for what would have been achieved by the Dream Act but government is attempting to compensate for failure of its passage. The present action offers no legal status which requires Congressional authorization. In an atmosphere of political deadlock, this is something the government could do within the constitutional framework. Similar action in the past lead to legislative changes to alleviate widow(er) penalty.

I hope the present government action would lead to the passage of the Dream Act.

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