the Rio Grande Catholic Article
DMRS offers aid to young migrants affected by new deportation policy
Catholic News Service /
7/5/2012 11:12:56 AM
Combined staff and wire report
Diocesan and Migrant Services is offering special assistance to migrants affected by the federal administration’s decision to emphasize the prosecutorial discretion provisions of the nation’s immigration laws.
Repeating over and over that "it's the right thing to do," President Barack Obama announced June 15 that effective immediately, the U.S. will stop deporting certain young people who are in the country illegally because they were brought to the United States as minors. The action was taken under existing law that allows for prosecutorial discretion.
As Obama described the order, eligible applicants between the ages of 15 and 30, who arrived in the U.S. by the age of 16 and have been here at least five years, will be able to request "temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization."
"Let's be clear," Obama said. "This is not amnesty, this is not immunity, this is not a path to citizenship, this is not a permanent fix. It is a temporary stopgap measure that allows us to focus our resources."
Iliana Holguin, director of Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, issued a press release stating the agency will be conducting free community education sessions every Tuesday at 10 a.m. in an effort to provide information and answer questions regarding the Obama administration's announcement.
The agency is located at 2400A E. Yandell Blvd..
Under the memorandum issued by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the press release said, individuals who demonstrate that they meet the following criteria will be eligible, on a case-by-case basis, to receive deferred action status for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for employment authorization:
*Came to the US while under the age of 16 and are not above the age of 30;
*Were present in the US on June 15, 2012 and have continuously resided in the US for at least five years preceding that date;
*Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the US; and,
*Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Holguin said “DMRS and the Catholic Diocese of El Paso applaud the administration's effort to ensure that young people who were brought to the US through no fault of their own as young children and meet the criteria above will not be removed from the country or be placed into removal proceedings. The administration's directive, however, is no substitute for the passage of the DREAM Act by Congress, which would give these youth a path to citizenship and a chance to become full-fledged Americans.”
Catholic News Service contributed to this report.
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