PRESS RELEASE from Department of Homeland Security

June 15, 2012
Contact: DHS Press Office

WASHINGTON— Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children,  do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.
“Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner,” said Secretary Napolitano. “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.”
DHS continues to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a national security or public safety risk, including immigrants convicted of crimes, violent criminals, felons, and repeat immigration law offenders. Today’s action further enhances the Department’s ability to focus on these priority removals. 
Under this directive, individuals who demonstrate that they meet the following criteria will be eligible for an exercise of discretion, specifically deferred action, on a case-by-case basis:
1.)    Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
2.)    Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
3.)    Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
4.)    Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
5.)    Are not above the age of thirty.
Only those individuals who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action.  Individuals will not be eligible if they are not currently in the United States and cannot prove that they have been physically present in the United States for a period of not less than 5 years immediately preceding today’s date.  Deferred action requests are decided on a case-by-case basis.  DHS cannot provide any assurance that all such requests will be granted. The use of prosecutorial discretion confers no substantive right, immigration status, or pathway to citizenship. Only the Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer these rights.
While this guidance takes effect immediately, USCIS and ICE expect to begin implementation of the application processes within sixty days.  In the meantime, individuals seeking more information on the new policy should visit USCIS’s website (at, ICE’s website (at, or DHS’s website (at  Beginning Monday, individuals can also call USCIS’ hotline at 1-800-375-5283 or ICE’s hotline at 1-888-351-4024 during business hours with questions or to request more information on the forthcoming process.
For individuals who are in removal proceedings and have already been identified as meeting the eligibility criteria and have been offered an exercise of discretion as part of ICE’s ongoing case-by-case review, ICE will immediately begin to offer them deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal.
For more information on the Administration policy reforms to date, please see this fact sheet.
President Barack Obama
Remarks on Immigration
Rose Garden
June 15, 2012 
[White House Transcript]
2:09 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  This morning, Secretary Napolitano announced new actions my administration will take to mend our nation’s immigration policy, to make it more fair, more efficient, and more just -- specifically for certain young people sometimes called “Dreamers.”
These are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighborhoods, they’re friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag.  They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one:  on paper.  They were brought to this country by their parents -- sometimes even as infants -- and often have no idea that they’re undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver’s license, or a college scholarship. 
Put yourself in their shoes.  Imagine you’ve done everything right your entire life -- studied hard, worked hard, maybe even graduated at the top of your class -- only to suddenly face the threat of deportation to a country that you know nothing about, with a language that you may not even speak.
That’s what gave rise to the DREAM Act.  It says that if your parents brought you here as a child, if you’ve been here for five years, and you’re willing to go to college or serve in our military, you can one day earn your citizenship.  And I have said time and time and time again to Congress that, send me the DREAM Act, put it on my desk, and I will sign it right away. 
Now, both parties wrote this legislation.  And a year and a half ago, Democrats passed the DREAM Act in the House, but Republicans walked away from it.  It got 55 votes in the Senate, but Republicans blocked it.  The bill hasn’t really changed.  The need hasn’t changed.  It’s still the right thing to do.  The only thing that has changed, apparently, was the politics. 
As I said in my speech on the economy yesterday, it makes no sense to expel talented young people, who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans -- they’ve been raised as Americans; understand themselves to be part of this country -- to expel these young people who want to staff our labs, or start new businesses, or defend our country simply because of the actions of their parents -- or because of the inaction of politicians. 
In the absence of any immigration action from Congress to fix our broken immigration system, what we’ve tried to do is focus our immigration enforcement resources in the right places.  So we prioritized border security, putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history -- today, there are fewer illegal crossings than at any time in the past 40 years.  We focused and used discretion about whom to prosecute, focusing on criminals who endanger our communities rather than students who are earning their education.  And today, deportation of criminals is up 80 percent.  We've improved on that discretion carefully and thoughtfully.  Well, today, we're improving it again. 
Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people.  Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.
Now, let's be clear -- this is not amnesty, this is not immunity.  This is not a path to citizenship.  It's not a permanent fix.  This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.  It is --
Q    (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT:  -- the right thing to do. 
Q    -- foreigners over American workers.
THE PRESIDENT:  Excuse me, sir.  It's not time for questions, sir.
Q    No, you have to take questions.
THE PRESIDENT:  Not while I'm speaking. 
Precisely because this is temporary, Congress needs to act.  There is still time for Congress to pass the DREAM Act this year, because these kids deserve to plan their lives in more than two-year increments.  And we still need to pass comprehensive immigration reform that addresses our 21st century economic and security needs -- reform that gives our farmers and ranchers certainty about the workers that they'll have.  Reform that gives our science and technology sectors certainty that the young people who come here to earn their PhDs won't be forced to leave and start new businesses in other countries.  Reform that continues to improve our border security, and lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
Just six years ago, the unlikely trio of John McCain, Ted Kennedy and President Bush came together to champion this kind of reform.  And I was proud to join 23 Republicans in voting for it.  So there’s no reason that we can’t come together and get this done.
And as long as I’m President, I will not give up on this issue, not only because it’s the right thing to do for our economy -- and CEOs agree with me -- not just because it’s the right thing to do for our security, but because it’s the right thing to do, period.  And I believe that, eventually, enough Republicans in Congress will come around to that view as well.
And I believe that it’s the right thing to do because I’ve been with groups of young people who work so hard and speak with so much heart about what’s best in America, even though I knew some of them must have lived under the fear of deportation.  I know some have come forward, at great risks to themselves and their futures, in hopes it would spur the rest of us to live up to our own most cherished values.  And I’ve seen the stories of Americans in schools and churches and communities across the country who stood up for them and rallied behind them, and pushed us to give them a better path and freedom from fear --because we are a better nation than one that expels innocent young kids. 
And the answer to your question, sir -- and the next time I’d prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask that question -- is this is the right thing to do for the American people --
Q    (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT:  I didn’t ask for an argument.  I’m answering your question. 
Q    I'd like to --
THE PRESIDENT:  It is the right thing to do -- 
Q    (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT:  -- for the American people.  And here’s why --
Q    -- unemployment --
THE PRESIDENT:  Here’s the reason:  because these young people are going to make extraordinary contributions, and are already making contributions to our society. 
I’ve got a young person who is serving in our military, protecting us and our freedom.  The notion that in some ways we would treat them as expendable makes no sense.  If there is a young person here who has grown up here and wants to contribute to this society, wants to maybe start a business that will create jobs for other folks who are looking for work, that’s the right thing to do.  Giving certainty to our farmers and our ranchers; making sure that in addition to border security, we’re creating a comprehensive framework for legal immigration -- these are all the right things to do. 
We have always drawn strength from being a nation of immigrants, as well as a nation of laws, and that’s going to continue.  And my hope is that Congress recognizes that and gets behind this effort. 
All right.  Thank you very much.
Q    What about American workers who are unemployed while you import foreigners?
                     END                                               2:17 P.M. EDT

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 15, 2012

Contact: Obama for America Press

STATEMENT: Romney Said He’d Veto the DREAM Act and Won’t Express Support For It Today
CHICAGO, IL – Obama for America National Press Secretary Ben LaBolt released the following statement in reaction to Mitt Romney’s refusal to support the DREAM Act:
“During the primaries, Governor Romney called the DREAM Act a handout and said he would veto it. His ‘solution’ to our immigration challenges was self-deportation. Today he continues to refuse to express support for legislation that lets children who were brought to the U.S. and want to contribute by pursuing higher education or serve in the military stay in America. The President remains committed to passing the DREAM Act, which was drafted with bipartisan support, but he won’t sit back and allow these children to get deported in the face of inaction. Congressional Republicans must end their continued obstruction to allow us to achieve the ultimate goal of signing the DREAM Act into law.”

Patriot Voices, Inc. (Rick Santorum)

Rick Santorum Condemns President Obama's Abuse of Power on Immigration


Verona, PA - Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama's actions today on immigration:


"Today, President Obama blatantly ignored our Constitution, the role of Congress in making laws, and the separation of powers. He showed us all that he believes he is above the Constitution and the law on healthcare, marriage, religious freedom and now immigration.

"President Obama's ideology, his inability to lead and build consensus, and his political self-interest guide his policies rather than the public interest.   The contribution of immigrants to our country is central to our success, but so is the Constitution and the rule of law.  We should honor both rather than undermining legal immigration and Constitutional principles such as separation of powers.


"President Obama's actions today are part of a disturbing and arrogant pattern where he believes that his administration knows better than those who we elect to represent us in Congress.  And if he has the opportunity to govern for four more years, I strongly believe our country's future prosperity is at risk."


Learn more at
Contributions to Patriot Voices, Inc. are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Patriot Voices, Inc. is a 501 (c)(4) nonprofit organization. There are no contribution limits. Corporate contributions are permitted.

Federation for American Immigration Reform

Obama Bypasses Congress, Declares DREAM Act Now in Effect

(Washington, DC -- June 15, 2012) Today the Obama administration announced a brazen usurpation of Congressional authority by using executive power to implement the DREAM Act.  Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will grant deferred action and possible work authorization to certain illegal aliens under the age of 30 who arrived in the U.S. before 16 years of age.  DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano expects that nearly 1 million illegal aliens will be granted amnesty through this effort.

“Over the past ten years, Congress has repeatedly rejected the DREAM Act. Now, five months before the presidential election, the Obama administration is unilaterally rewriting our immigration laws, defying Congressional authority and threatening our constitutional framework,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

“This is a blatant abuse of executive power that ignores the will of Congress and the American people,” charged Stein. “The Obama administration is engaging in a shameless display of political pandering to satisfy a narrow slice of its party.

“Since taking office the President has slowly stripped away the federal government’s immigration enforcement authority and barred the states from effectively protecting Americans from the burden of illegal immigration,” continued Stein. “The consequence of these actions, and the Administration’s latest expansion of its backdoor amnesty strategy, is the shredding of the Constitution, a wholesale rejection of the rule of law, and an open invitation for more illegal immigration.”

National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials

NALEO Responds to Deferred Action Process for Youth Brought to America as Children

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) issued the following statement regarding the Obama Administration's announcement that certain young people who were brought to the United States as children will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings:

"We commend President Barack Obama and Secretary Janet Napolitano for taking steps to provide young people who were brought to the country through no fault of their own with some relief from deportation, and the opportunity to contribute to the economic prosperity and success of this great nation.  This policy will strengthen the fabric of our nation by helping to keep families together and allowing immigrant minors and youth to remain in the country and pursue an education.

"The Administration's actions are consistent with the comprehensive immigration reform principles adopted by our Board.  Our principles note the importance of recognizing the many contributions that immigrants have made to the progress of this country, and the Administration's directive recognizes that law-abiding immigrant youth who are currently in school, or have completed their high school education or served in the military and meet several other key criteria should be provided protection from removal and the ability to seek gainful employment in the United States.  Moreover, our principles emphasize the need for sound and humane immigration enforcement measures.  The Administration's policy will enable it to use its enforcement resources more effectively by focusing them on those individuals who truly pose threats to our public safety or national security. It is evident, however, that this measure is not a permanent solution to our nation's broken immigration system.

"We look forward to hearing more about this policy change when the President directly addresses our membership on June 22nd at our 29th Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. Our nation's more than 6,000 Latino elected officials are ready to do their part, working with the President, Administration and Congress, to promote policies and legislation that will ultimately make the American dream a reality for those young individuals who are making contributions to the prosperity and fabric of this great nation."

More information on the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials 29th Annual Conference can be found on our website:


The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials is the leadership organization of the nation's more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials.

Contact: Amanda Bosquez
PRESS RELEASE from DRM Capitol Group
Ryan Campbell
Washington, DC -- Today undocumented youth commend President Obama for the courage to announce that he will sign an executive order to provide relief for DREAMers. DREAMers will stand by the President’s action and leadership to fully implement the order.

    For the past decade, DREAMers have been marching in the streets and advocating in the halls of Congress and the White House to seek relief.  The tears and sweat of so many youth is finally paying off.  Immigrant organizers are literally in tears.  For them, it’s a signal that the dark cloud of deportation is no longer looming over them, making their dreams and plans seem no longer potential victim to chance and the Joe Arpaio’s of the world. 

    President Obama’s action now places pressure on Rubio’s bill; It challenges Republicans to come more aggressively to the immigration negotiation table and come up with a permanent legislative fix.  This also gives Latinos a good reason to vote: their friends and cousins who’ve been working hard and going to school will be able to stay in the country, as long as Romney doesn’t get in and get rid of the executive order.

    “The President has given us a reason to believe in him” said Caeser Vargas, managing partner at DRM Capitol Group .  “We will ensure that people go out to vote to keep this executive order alive.”  For many undocumented youth who can directly reach Latino communities on the ground, this executive order is also a marching order.  Undocumented immigrants have put together a network to push for the DREAM Act, and are now celebrating Obama’s political courage.  Now, we anxiously await to see if the President and Napolitano of DHS follow through with Obama’s action.

American Federation of Teachers

For Immediate Release
June 15, 2012 

Carolyn Fiddler

Landmark Immigration Action Expands Opportunities for Students 

“All children deserve access to a quality public education and a fair shot at realizing their dreams”

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten released the following statement on President Obama’s executive action halting the deportation of hardworking, law-abiding immigrant youth.

“All children deserve access to a quality public education and a fair shot at realizing their dreams. President Obama has given hope to young people who have demonstrated good citizenship by pursuing college or protecting our nation. The nearly 1 million youths affected by this decision have done everything our society has asked them to do. They have worked hard, studied hard, and are pursuing college educations. These young immigrants are our students, and they deserve a chance to become productive members of our society without living with constant fear and uncertainty.
“It is certainly appropriate that the president’s action comes on the 30th anniversary of the historic Plyler v. Doe decision, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it was against the law to deny children access to public education, regardless of their citizenship or that of their parents.

“Now more than ever, Congress needs to pass the DREAM Act and give hardworking students a path toward legal permanent status and, eventually, citizenship. Maintaining barriers to their success does nothing to benefit our economy, our national security or our collective well-being.”

Statement from on the Obama Administration’s immigration decision:


Today’s announcement by President Obama will make a profound difference in the lives of many hard-working young people who have made significant contributions to our country. We commend President Obama for taking this important step. And we are deeply grateful for the tireless efforts of those who have championed fair immigration policies, especially the Dreamers -- the thousands of young people who put their futures on the line to lead this movement. To all of the activists who brought about this victory, we congratulate you and thank you for your sacrifices and inspiration.


Sahar Wali 
Vice President