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Obama administration to stop deporting DREAM Act-eligible illegal immigrants

In yet another sign that Hispanics are key in presidential politics, President Barack Obama's administration will reportedly announce Friday that it will stop deporting and grant work permits to nearly 1 million immigrants who entered or remained in the United States illegally as children and would be eligible for the DREAM Act, which is stalled in Congress amid election-year gridlock and competing proposals. (Read recent stories on ideas put forth by Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. David Rivera, both Miami Republicans, here, here and here.)

From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of an influential Latino electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies. 

The policy change, described to The Associated Press by two senior administration officials, will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, a long-sought but never enacted plan to establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally but who have attended college or served in the military. 

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was to announce the new policy Friday, one week before President Barack Obama plans to address the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' annual conference in Florida. Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney is scheduled to speak to the group on Thursday. 

Under the administration plan, illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned an equivalent degree, or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed. The officials who described the plan spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss it in advance of the official announcement. 

The policy will not lead toward citizenship but will remove the threat of deportation and grant the ability to work legally, leaving eligible immigrants able to remain in the United States for extended periods. 

“Many of these young people have already contributed to our country in significant ways,” Napolitano wrote in a memorandum describing the administration's action. “Prosecutorial discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here.” 

The extraordinary move comes in an election year in which the Hispanic vote could be critical in swing states like Colorado, Nevada and Florida. While Obama enjoys support from a majority of Hispanic voters, Latino enthusiasm for the president has been tempered by the slow economic recovery, his inability to win congressional support for a broad overhaul of immigration laws and by his administration's aggressive deportation policy. Activists opposing his deportation policies last week mounted a hunger strike at an Obama campaign office in Denver, and other protests were planned for this weekend. 

The change is likely to cause an outcry from congressional Republicans, who are sure to perceive Obama's actions as an end run around them. Republicans already have complained that previous administration uses of prosecutorial discretion in deportations amount to back-door amnesty. Romney and many Republican lawmakers want tighter border security measures before considering changes in immigration law. Romney opposes offering legal status to illegal immigrants who attend college but has said he would do so for those who serve in the armed forces. 

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last month found Obama leading Romney among Hispanic voters 61 percent to 27 percent. But his administration's deportation policies have come under fire, and Latino leaders have raised the subject in private meetings with the president. In 2011, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported a record 396,906 people and is expected to deport about 400,000 this year. 

A December poll by the Pew Hispanic Center showed that 59 percent of Latinos disapproved of the president's handling of deportations. 

The changes come a year after the administration announced plans to focus on deporting serious criminals, immigrants who pose threats to public safety and national security, and serious immigration law violators. 

One of the officials said the latest policy change is just another step in the administration's evolving approach to immigration. 

Under the plan, immigrants whose deportation cases are pending in immigration court will have to prove their eligibility for a reprieve to ICE, which will begin dealing with such cases in 60 days. Any immigrant who already has a deportation order and those who never have been encountered by immigration authorities will deal with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. 

The exact details of how the program will work, including how much immigrants will have to pay to apply and what proof they will need, still are being worked out. 


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Jose Martinez


Kimandy Lawrence

This is just the right thing to do, but why the 30 year age limit?

anali Hernandez

Omg.thank you Jesus, this is like a dream come true! :)


Is this a new law proposal that the president is willing to pass but still needs to be approved by the senate and congress? or is it a definite?


Great move! About time!! Reason for 30 year age limit: I assume -- Generation and a half; College age; Military service age.


Dios es Bueno Gracias a El :)


great job obama this is definite you can apply right now and and get a work permit but congress have to pass dream act in order to get green card


about time Obama! you have my vote now.


does this applies for seniors in high school that plan to go to college?

Kathie Panfil

This is a wonderful step in the right direction -- it enables valedictorians from local high schools, and many others, who have been in the shadows to work, study and contribute to this nation of immigrants!!!!!!!!


The constitution vests to Congress, not the executive branch, the authority over immigration policy. The president takes an oath to enforce the laws of the country and to protect and defend the constitution.


Where can we apply?


this brings such a relief onto me, this is what needed to happen

Jazmin Rojas

Finally My mom and my prayers are answered Thank you OBAMA!!!


I agree with Kimandy...why the under age 30 limit. My husband is 35 and has been here since he has been 5 years old. He is now running a business of his own (under my name) and we pay our taxes every year. His brother who was born here filed papers for his wife 6 years ago and still NO PROGRESS. We have five kids together and are productive members of society. My kids are honor roll students and I have completed my MBA and work in Finance at a great company. It's really frustrating that he can't lead his life normally because he was brought here as a kid and has spent 30 years here. The age limit is a crock!


and one more thing...the reason we have not filed his papers is because we were told he would have to go back to Mexico to do an interview and we don't know how long he would have to wait there for the approval. We cannot uproot our jobs, our home, and our kids and up and go to Mexico. I cannot continue my job and raise our kids without him either...so what are we to do?


Thank you , OBAMA!!!!You are the best!!! I will make sure everyone I know will vote for you!


that's nice...break the laws but get a pass anyway


Absolutely pathetic. We have legal Americans who can't get into college; medical care; and housing! Maybe, we can get the illegals registered to vote by November. More illegals sucking from the trough!


in a few months you ll be able to get the waiver in united states if you r a citizen


@TB One thing you can do is ask for hin under the law E130 yes he may have to go to mexico for one or two appointments, to ask for the forgiveness of being here illegally but if he has beenthere that long, has five kids, pays his taxes, and has a Us Citizen wife trust me he will be back here within a year. Plus i dont know if youve heard Obamas other law i dont remember exactly the name but that onr is also about him not having to go to mexico to ask for thr forgiveness herewould ask for it here instead of having to go to mexico and so if they deny it he qould stay here not there. I am only 20 but im in the same situation your husband and you are in i have a a paralegal who does ally papework she does a great job here in phx i can lead you to her and you can get all the info ypu want ypu wont regrwg it.




Think again young latinos, NOW you are going to pay taxes. This is a real positive.
I believe you should have a method of working in this country legally. But, please, if you want to live here, learn English and respect our flag. Apply for citizenship and make this your home if you plan to stay like so many Europeans before you have done. You will be much better accepted in the US by Americans if you learn our language and respect our country. Our country is giving you more than what Mexico or other South American countries are currently giving you. Otherwise, you would not be here. I respect most latinos as they work hard, are religious and family oriented.


@jack & the stupid comment under neath@really?
Talking about pathetic and breaking the law. Not all MEXICANS break the law just like not all african americans or white break it some do and some dont we dont all have to pay for what others do. Just like whites blacks chinese phillipines do it everyone does but not ALL. Pathetic? You call this pathetic? While some of us want to do something with our lifes like go to college there PATHETIC PEIPLE LIKE YOU wgo absolutely should be in the US. Point made.


@ TB: If I get pulled over by the cops and they tell me I'm driving a stolen car, I pay the penalty. Looks like you knowingly took an illegal for a spin and are now crying because the government wants to impound the car?
I'm also glad you pay taxes now. How much money was sunk into your ride and the rest of his fleet prior to your road trip? Does it include discounts?


@really?... You sound very ignorant. To begin with, the process of getting in to a University is very simple, YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE GRADES!!!!!!. No one can check your residency statues, it’s against the law. Therefore, being accepted to any University is based on writing samples, and grades, depending of the University of your choice. Now for Medical care is something everyone has to pay regardless of a person attending a University or not. Also, some jobs have Medical Care for their workers. And on your last point about housing, I am going to use your name Really!!!. One, you have to afford housing regardless of your residency statues, meaning, no money, no house period! So in response to the Legal Americans, please have the grades to get in to the University of your choice and don’t blame others for your none accepts, medical care and housing, everyone has to work in order to pay for what they want and need. The Dream Act, is only offering the opportunity to others to be able to work, the illegal Americans (like you called them), will not be getting anything free, they will be working for it…=)


@Ale: Intelligent conversations and debates do not include name-calling; however, I fully support education and advancement, but being here illegally is illegal. I don't sell drugs to get to college and I shouldn't enter the country illegally to do so either.


Finally something good for my ears. I hope that everything ilkeeps going this way


Your talking about inteligence when you cant even over come that word yourself. You mentiones americans not having medical care or education do you really think its illegals fault? Medical expenses we all pay for. Education? Thats up to you if you have your education or NOT. Housing? You would have a house if you had money, you would have money if you had education. You choose your own path honey.


@sui: Firstly, in order to get into a college, you need a social security number. In order to get a social security number you must provide a birth certificate ..... so, again, tell me how you get into college legally when you are an illegal citizen?

Secondly, per the Center for Immigration the following statistics:

In 2009 (based on data collected in 2010), 57 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal and illegal) with children (under 18) used at least one welfare program, compared to 39 percent for native households with children.

Immigrant households’ use of welfare tends to be much higher than natives for food assistance programs and Medicaid. Their use of cash and housing programs tends to be similar to native households.

A large share of the welfare used by immigrant households with children is received on behalf of their U.S.-born children, who are American citizens. But even households with children comprised entirely of immigrants (no U.S.-born children) still had a welfare use rate of 56 percent in 2009.

Immigrant households with children used welfare programs at consistently higher rates than natives, even before the current recession. In 2001, 50 percent of all immigrant households with children used at least one welfare program, compared to 32 percent for natives.

Households with children with the highest welfare use rates are those headed by immigrants from the Dominican Republic (82 percent), Mexico and Guatemala (75 percent), and Ecuador (70 percent). Those with the lowest use rates are from the United Kingdom (7 percent), India (19 percent), Canada (23 percent), and Korea (25 percent).

The states where immigrant households with children have the highest welfare use rates are Arizona (62 percent); Texas, California, and New York (61 percent); Pennsylvania (59 percent); Minnesota and Oregon (56 percent); and Colorado (55 percent).

We estimate that 52 percent of households with children headed by legal immigrants used at least one welfare program in 2009, compared to 71 percent for illegal immigrant households with children. Illegal immigrants generally receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children.

Illegal immigrant households with children primarily use food assistance and Medicaid, making almost no use of cash or housing assistance. In contrast, legal immigrant households tend to have relatively high use rates for every type of program.

High welfare use by immigrant-headed households with children is partly explained by the low education level of many immigrants. Of households headed by an immigrant who has not graduated high school, 80 percent access the welfare system, compared to 25 percent for those headed by an immigrant who has at least a bachelor’s degree.

An unwillingness to work is not the reason immigrant welfare use is high. The vast majority (95 percent) of immigrant households with children had at least one worker in 2009. But their low education levels mean that more than half of these working immigrant households with children still accessed the welfare system during 2009.



And Ale:
CIS report: Households headed by illegal aliens imposed more than $26.3 billion in costs on the federal government in 2002 and paid only $16 billion in taxes, creating a net fiscal deficit of almost $10.4 billion, or $2,700 per illegal household.


You do not need a social s to get into college i was paying for my own college and i dont have a S.S thats how you attend college without a social.


You DON’T!!! need a social security number to apply to any University, trust me I am attending a University. Plus the Arizona Laws, are meant to prevent from allowing Illegal Americans to attend a University. Meaning at this point there is no Law against any students who is illegal to attend a University. Now about the housing, you are correct the majority that use or have Welfare are the illegal Americans. However, you have to take in to account that this people don’t have a stable job, meaning that at any point they could get fired and not have any money to take care of their children. Also, they don’t get the minimum wage as the legal Americans do, meaning that they could be getting paid 4 dollars an hour, or even less. To be honest, no one with that wage can take care of a family. Which makes many of the immigrants to apply for this resources. You also, have to consider that if the legal Americans don’t have it, that means that they have a better income house hold, don’t you think.
Granted they should have come here illegally, however, the Dream Act is meant for the children who were brought here to the US at a young age. Although, they are illegal they are Americans because they love it here and is all they have known…=)


@Ale thats what i said, read right...YOU DONT NEED ONE, DORK...i AM IN YOUR SHOES...=)




@ Ale: After all that data, your debate is in regards to a social security number? Been awhile since I put myself through college, working two jobs to do it, so just seemed logical that a social security number would be needed, considering I need to provide one to the electric company for my power. But then again, perhaps, every state is not regulated the same. Could absolutely be my error.
@SUI: Do you think an officer cares to hear about my personal problems when he pulls me over in a stolen car? The law is the law, and illegal immigrants should not receive "any" benefit that takes away from those who live here "legally."
And of course immigrants make low wages ... they are hiding from the law!
We do live in an amazing country; however, there is an immigration process in place that many citizens, including two of my own personal friends, have used to gain citizenship LEGALLY in order to pursue a life of freedom and opportunity.
Furthermore, if a child was brought to the country illegally, he or she has a responsibility to report his illegal status when he or she is of age. However, if he or she did that, it would mean uncovering the illegal relatives who continue to suck the system with benefits.
As for the argument regarding resources and opportunities for legal Americans, there are thousands of homeless people who could benefit from the billions of dollars we spend on "illegals." There are plenty of young students who can't afford to go to school because of rising tuition prices and do not qualify for benefits because budgets are strained, including our national budget, which is being hampered by more than $26.3 billion in unnecessary spending on "ILLEGAL" immigrants.


Why 30??? I'd been here since I was 6 and now I'm 33, my bother since he was 4 now he's 31. We both graduated from high school and have always payed our taxes.

Edwin A Tarango

If you really want something in life you can succeed your goals but you must have faith. I am a 22 year old latino who has been here in the U.S since I was young boy . I attended all my school years here. I have not been in Mexico therefore I concider my self an American,after graduating Hischool I wanted to enroll in the Marines corp and I was denied due to my citizenship, it broke my heart to get denied knowing deep in my heart that I am an American without a blue card with nine digits that makes everything happen. I am 22 and Iam doing all I can in my power to file paperwork for Immigration, and by seing this GREAT! news I hope, and pray that I can be eligible for this great opurtunity. I promise I am here to stay and make a great asset to this country.


If the child reports their illegal statues the only thing, the child will get is deported. At the moment the children who were brought here to the US illegal have no way of getting any permit to stay here. That’s were the Dream Act comes in. The Dream Act is a law with many requirements that not every child will qualify he/she will have to be a good citizen on top of other requirements. The reason why the Dream Act is needed is because at the moment there is no path to citizenship. By the way any student who does not have a social security has to pay their Whole education, with no assistance. FASFA are for students who are here legally.
About the homeless, you are correct they do need assistance when it comes to surviving. However, everyone is responsible about their own lives, if they don’t apply for the resources, then how are they supposed to get the assistance that they need.
Yes, I am very aware of the rise of tuition, that is due to the economics oil shock, and also, because of the housing bubble. The housing bubble is primary because of the many people who lost their homes, and caused for many bankruptcy; Leading for many banks and companies to also file for bankruptcy. The oil shock is because of the war in Iraq, I recommend the book “Blood and Oil”, it describe it in detail.
BTW. I am currently a student at the University Of California, Santa Cruz, >>>(^_^)..I will graduate this Sunday, my major is Global economics. We should debate on the economics deficit we are in..=)


@Sui: You disregard all the facts of the money we spend on social programs for illegal aliens ---- more than $23 billion on ILLEGAL ALIENS!
No one deserves benefits if you are here illegal. If you were brought here and are being deported, oh well. The law was broken and continues to be broken by the families who remain here illegally!
Again, the social security argument has nothing to do with the point of aid or no aid. The point is this: $52,000,000,000 - The cost of educating the children of illegals. This is by far the single largest cost to the American taxpayer.
As for social programs helping "legal" residents ---- if the money is being spent on "illegal" immigrants, how is the money available to help "legal" residents with housing and tuition?
The well is dry honey. We don't have the money to spend on ILLEGALS! Do you know how much the U.S. has borrowed from China?
Glad your studies are enriching your knowledge on the economy, but sorry this mess wasn't caused by "only" the war(s); it was caused by "bankers" over inflating house values; risky loans; and GREED!
Congratulations on your graduation. Now pay some taxes for about 10-years and then we'll talk about economics and how your tax dollars are being used.
There is no credible argument for spending money on Illegal aliens except to keep them out of country. Come back and contribute when you do it legally.
Until then, I want the government to spend its money on the betterment of our country of "legal" residents.

America Freedom

THIS IS WRONG America needs jobs now given to Mexicans? Obama you have broken the law. You did this for votes! I hope you loose , if not we will take America back with our freedoms and uphold the constitution. You have no regards to the law and your OATH. You are not above the law and you will be taken down by the people as the constitution says....

Veronica Tomas-Castro

Here in El Monte, CA our friends and I outed a lying republican SCHOOL BOARD member. Please see the video link in this comment. Theresa A. Velasco was caught on camera LYING about supporting the DREAM ACT, was confronted with protest signs including one with her missing signature on a resolution urging congress to support the DREAM ACT. Not only is SCHOOL BOARD member Theresa A. Velasco against the Dream Act, she is a LIAR on top of it and blows up on camera when confronted with the truth. If you are a SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER, your priority should be STUDENTS. If your priority is a student's immigration status first, then you have no business being on the school board. Please see the attached video of this lying witch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnb97VaRNfw If you cannot get to the link from here go to youtube and type in Theresa A. Velasco in the search. It's time to weed out LYING politicians, especially ones who sit on our school board.


Ok, I'm confused I am already 30 will be 31 this November 2012, do I qualify?? It says younger than 30?? Idk help

Alfredo Lozano

Young people that were brought to this country can't be at fault. The U.S. is now their home and they deserve to be protected. This isn't a permanent law but a step in the right direction.

Edwin A Tarango

Really? why are you so mean?? some of us are very worth being an american you know? im willing to fight for you and this country ... I consider my self an American . I have never seen Mexico in my life and I hate the fact my mother gave birth to me outhere :( but if this comes true I will join the Marines and fight for you and all the people in this country. I have always wanted to become a Marine .

Ron Hill

Illegal immigrants are currently not permitted to join any branch of the US military...


can someone help me please??i am wondering if i could get the permit because i only have 2 years living here but i came before turned 16,do i qualify???

the public health nurse

I am a visiting RN and have been in over 2000 mexican homes. I have often considered quitting nursing because I have become disgusted at the huge amounts of welfare, free lunch, section 8, IHHS, & Free Medical I have seen given to people who have never worked a day in this country, nor paid a dime in taxes.

I also see olders Americans who fought in Wars, paid their taxes and do not qualify for the programs we are giving to illegals and recent legal immigrants.

Many legal immigrants were people who were passed on Reagans amnesty program & are now the beneficiaries of our medi-medi program, and they are raping our system along with their children.

It is very sad to tell a person who worked for 50 years and was born in this country, "Sorry you dont qualify for those benefits", because your pension is 200.00 dollars more than the free social security check we are giving to that illegal person.

It's morally wrong for you young people who were born here illegally, to become a legal citizen. Your parents broke the law, and you were awarded for your family committing an illegal act.

I do not blame Mexicans, nor the Chinese for wanting a better life, but our system allows people, many of them on this site to take advantage and cause suffering to other people. We have to change our system, we need to end Anchor baby status and send them back immediately. Wheter you want to admit it or not, it is true that your illegal status has caused a great deal of suffering to others who have to support your illegal grandparents and your newly illegal anchor born kids.

In all the homes I have been in over a 20 year period, unfortunatley I have not seen one family who is NOT on some sort of a government program, you're all receiving some sort of benefit, that another human is paying for, I wish that wasn't so, but many of you on this site are cold hearted and care only about what you can get, and not necessarily what you can give.

I wish all of you luck, I hope you do something with your new found freedom and maybe come up with a solution where a group of citizen's cannot cause so much suffering to another group. I dont believe that many of you illegals can see what your presence has done here, nor do I believe you want to admit it. But I have seen with my own eyes, the damage and unfairness the distribution of benefits has caused. If we were not giving to the illegals, we would have more resources to give our citizens. So, let's talk after 10 years of you really working and paying taxes, lets see if your glasses are still rose colored!

barbara Rohrich

I am very pleased that this opportunity has been given to those who had no choice in the matter. However, the age limit is unfair. I have a friend who is 45 and only found out a few years ago that she was not a citizen. her mother was an american who married a Mexican. she gave birth to my friend in mexico. when she came back to her home in texas somehow she obtainined a social security card for my friend. when she went to get a driver's licence, they let her use a HS photo ID card. one is allowed to just renew a licence and she did not find out that she was not a citizen until her purse was lost and she need to get a new licence. she asked her mother for her birth certificate and found out it was a mexican one. she has been married to an American citizen for over 25 years and has raised three children and now is helping with 8 grandchildren. she is afraid to come forward. it would break her heart to leave all of her family here and go to a county she hasn't been in since she was a couple of month's old. she wants to get a job, but doesn't have ID. she is forced to live like a hermit or fugitive for a decision her parents made. she could have been eliegable for citizenship because her mother was a citizen, but the papers where not filed.

I hope the administration realizes that the 30 age limit is not fair. if a parent decides to break the law or not follow procedures--the children no matter what age should not be penalized. Neither should they have to live in fear of being deported to a country. they do not know.

Alan  Cancryn

Where do we aply for the dream act? How long does the process take, and how much will the program cost? I have a hard working friend who told me in confidence that she was brought to the U.S. as a child. She works hard, maintains excelent grades, and has never been in trouble, legally or financially. She does, somewhat live in fear. I could not think of a more deserving person for this opportunity. Oh yes, she loves this country. It's the only one she's ever known. How do I help her?

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