Obama's New Immigration Policy Is Basically Just A Mini DREAM Act

Barack Obama

Photo: Getty

The Obama administration announced Friday morning that it would stop deporting and start granting work permits to some younger illegal immigrants, a new policy that follows closely in line with Section 3 of the proposed DREAM Act, a stalled bill that would streamline the legalization process for young illegal immigrants.The administration has stopped short of using the DREAM Act to describe the shift in policy announced Friday, but they are extremely similar.

Here’s part of Section 3, which states that the Homeland Security Secretary may cancel the deportation of “an alien who is inadmissible or deportable from the United States if the alien demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that:”

A.) The individual has been in the U.S. for at least five years and was under the age of 15 when coming to the U.S.

B.) Good moral character.

C.) The individual has a high-school diploma or GED.

D.) The individual is less than 32 years old. 

The administration’s executive order implements these traits with some minor adjustments — according to the new policy, the individual has to have been under the age of 16 when they came to the U.S., and cannot be more than 30 years old now.

The policy also adds a provision found elsewhere in the DREAM Act. To qualify, applicants must prove that they “have not been convicted of a felony offence, a significant misdemeanour offence, multiple misdemeanour offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.” 

“Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner,” Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday. “But they are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case. Nor are they designed to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language. Discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here.”

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.