According to the Associated Press:
"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 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."
Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners, has been at the forefront, pushing for changes to immigration policies that rip apart families. Wallis released the following statement on Friday:
“The announcement from the White House today is very good news for 1 million young people who have a dream of staying in the country where they have lived most of their lives. Instead of being placed in the deportation pipeline, they will receive work permits enabling them to contribute to the nation and help build America’s future. This is an important step but only a beginning toward comprehensive reform of an utterly broken immigration system. This week a very broad and deep table of Evangelical leaders called on the political leaders of both parties to fix that broken system and protect ‘the stranger’ whom Christ calls us to defend. As Evangelicals we love the ‘good news’ of the gospel, and today we affirm this good news that gives hope and a future for young immigrants who are an important part of both the church and this country.”
On Tuesday, Wallis, along with evangelical leaders across the political spectrum, announced the formation of the Evangelical Immigration Table, setting forth five principles for immigration reform.
According to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security memorandum, the following conditions should be satisfied before an individual qualities for consideration:
- came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
- has continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and is present in the United States on the date ofthis memorandum;
- is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces ofthe United States;
- has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety; and
- is not above the age of thirty.
Read full memo HERE.
Stay tuned for additional details and an address from President Barack Obama this afternoon.