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Last week, we reported that the White House has announced a new policy which says that DREAM Act youth and immigrants who haven’t committed serious crimes, and who meet other reasonable criteria, won’t face deportation.
Is this new policy everything we’ve been asking for? Not exactly. However, it’s a critical step forward with big potential. Here’s how the policy works:
The administration will review cases of the 300,000 people currently in deportation proceedings, and those who meet certain criteria should have their cases closed. Next, agents and attorneys at the Dept. of Homeland Security will be directed to keep people like this out of deportation proceedings from now on.
After fighting so hard against policies which have led to one million deportations, many in the immigration movement are concerned about whether the Obama Administration will really stick to this new policy and halt the deportation of DREAM youth and others. It took a powerful movement to push the Obama Administration to change its ways and finally, the President has begun to lead. If fully implemented, the new policy could keep hundreds of thousands of families together. Though we are happy that the Administration finally took some action, we know that now isn’t the time to declare victory and end our campaign. Like any new announcement from Washington, it will only become a reality on the ground if we ensure that the Obama Administration fulfills its commitment. We know this all too well.
Unfortunately, nothing mobilizes the anti-immigrant crowd more than any policy some conservative influentials have decided to tag with the “amnesty” label. They’re flooding the White House with calls to get them to back down, which is why immigrant supporters need to tell Obama to hold the line, and that he’s done the right thing.
To do that, the President will have to stand up to the extremists to ensure that this policy is the begining (and not the end) of reforms – and we have to tell him to hold strong and keep moving in the right direction. Feel free to sign the letter, tweet about it, or share it on your facebook wall.