Following is a statement from SEIU International Secretary Treasurer Eliseo Medina regarding President Obama’s announcement today that the administration will stop deporting young, undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.
“Today, President Obama showed leadership and courage by granting administrative relief to eligible DREAMers.
“This common-sense move is fiscally responsible and widely supported. The idea to grant legal relief to young people who were brought to the U.S. as children as long as they meet tough qualifications has long been advocated by educators, the military, small business, organized labor and religious leaders from various faiths. Why? Because it is also about our nation’s future economic and national security.
“DREAMers are disproportionately high-achieving young students with good moral character—valedictorians, athletes, cheerleaders, J-ROTC members, future scientists, nurses and technology developers—who grew up in the United States and consider themselves Americans but are not citizens because they were brought to our country without documents. They want to serve this country, and we will benefit from their contributions.
“This administrative relief should be followed with congressional enactment of the DREAM Act.
“President Obama is showing great courage in taking this action, and it presents a stark contrast with the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee who has vowed to stop the DREAM Act if elected. In Congress, polarizing partisan politics kept the DREAM Act from becoming law in 2010.
“Through President Obama’s courageous leadership, DREAM-eligible students can get relief from the immediate threat of deportation. The president has now done all he can do, but the kind of relief he is able to grant is temporary. It is now up to Congress to pass the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform, which is the only way that the dreams of these productive Americans can be realized.”