National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators

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June 15, 2012

  Nelly Robles    202-434-8070

National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) Applauds Administration Announcement to Give Administrative Relief to "Dreamers"

Washington, D.C. June 15, 2012 The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) applauds the announcement by Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, to provide relief from removal or from entering removal proceedings to some "Dreamers" and to provide them with work permits.

The beneficiaries of this announcement are individuals whom are out of status but were generally brought to this country by their family through no fault of their own. Hispanic community advocates and the NHCSL have long sought approval of the DREAM Act, which would allow these children and young adults pursuing an education or serving in the military to adjust their status. The announcement today is much more limited and will provide relief on a case by case basis to those individuals meeting certain criteria.

The new initiative will focus on several key criteria in order to be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings on a case by case basis. The individual must be under the age of 30; must have come to the U.S. under the age of 16; currently enrolled in school, graduated from high school or have obtained their G.E.D.; have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Services; and must not be convicted of a felony offense, a significant or multiple misdemeanor offenses.

"However limited, this announcement moves us in the right direction," said State Representative Minnie Gonzalez (CT), President of the NHCSL. "This announcement gives us hope of one day achieving the goal of Congress passing the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform into law."

"This is a very positive development and we credit the Administration for agreeing that they indeed have administrative authority to provide relief," said State Representative Catherine Miranda (AZ), Chair of the NHCSL Immigration Task Force. "We must enforce our immigration laws humanely or we will see the pattern that has repeated in my home state of Arizona, Alabama and other states where civil rights are trampled and our economies suffer."


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