Last week, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy (D) wrote to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requesting deferred action on behalf of DREAM-eligible student Mariano Cardoso. Cardoso, who has been living in the U.S. since he was a year old, is currently facing deportation and is merely months away from graduating from college. Watch this CBS segment on Mariano, featuring Gov. Malloy:
Gov. Malloy is courageously joining the growing chorus of voices asking Obama Administration officials to use existing authority to stop deporting talented young people who are Americans in all but paperwork. Recently, twenty-two Senators wrote the president to ask for administrative relief for DREAM students. Senator John Kerry and other lawmakers also sent a letter asking the administration to postpone deportations of immigrants in legal same-sex American marriages.
In a statement, Governor Malloy said,:
Congress needs to address immigration reform in a comprehensive and commonsense manner, but until that happens, we cannot allow young men and women like Mariano, who, through no fault of their own, were brought here as children, lose this chance at a better life. For all intents and purposes, Mariano is American. To send him back to a country he has no recollection of and did not grow up in makes little sense, particularly as he is finishing his degree and looking to contribute to his community and this state.
Mariano and his community have been pleading with DHS for over two months to grant Mariano a stay of deportation. There have been community rallies, tens of thousands of faxes sent to Secretary Napolitano, and Members of Congress have made requests on his behalf – yet DHS continues to try to deport Mariano to a country he doesn’t remember. Mariano’s story illustrates the sharp contrast between rhetoric and reality when it comes to many DREAM youth. Let’s take a look at the President’s comments on the Dream Act, just from this year –
On April 4, 2011, President Obama said:
We aren’t going around rounding up students, that is completely false.
But in the President’s 2011 State of the Union Address, Obama said:
Let’s stop expelling talented, responsible young people who can staff our research labs, start new businesses, and further enrich this nation.
Twenty-two senators – some of them being the President’s most trusted allies — Governor Malloy, and numerous other leaders get it. President Obama has the power to suspend the deportations of talented young people, like Mariano, until Congress can set aside politics and work in a bipartisan way on real immigration reform. He should use that power.
Meanwhile, Mariano and many others like him – who are American in all but paperwork — remain in deportation proceedings.