Illegal immigration: Not targeted but not safe, young illegal immigrants push for a new policy
I’m for this policy, kids who have lived here all their lives deserve better than deportation, it’s not their fault their parents broke the law long ago.
Then, in an act of civil disobedience, they sat down in the middle of a busy street and announced it again to a large and chanting crowd. When they were hauled off to jail, they even declared their status to a pair of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers — who proceeded to do nothing.
Wednesday, after a night in jail, the seven were free again, clutching misdemeanor tickets issued by the city for blocking traffic.
So what, one might ask, does it take for an illegal immigrant to get deported in the United States of 2011?
That turns out to be a good question, particularly for immigrants who, like the Georgia youths, call themselves “the Dreamers” — that is, immigrants who might have achieved legal status through the federal Dream Act.
The legislation would have offered a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States at a young age, had lived here for at least five years, had stayed out of trouble and enrolled in college or served in the military.
The bill passed the House of Representatives in December, but was scuttled in the Senate by Republican-led opposition.
With the bill dead for the foreseeable future — especially given the new GOP majority in the House — the Obama administration appears to be operating in a kind of workaround mode.
At an April 1 public forum in Washington, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that immigrants who would have benefitted from the Dream Act were “not the priority” when it came to enforcing immigration law.