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Dream Act

June 16, 2012 | Melanie Mason
The Obama administration announced Friday it would halt the deportation of some young illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children. Here is a nuts-and-bolts guide to the policy shift. Who is eligible? To be eligible, an individual must have come to the United States before age 16 and must have continuously lived in the country for at least five years. He or she must be living in the U.S. today and must be 30 or younger. The person must also be in school, have a high school diploma or a GED, or be a member of the military or an honorably discharged veteran.
June 16, 2012 | By Christopher Goffard, Esmeralda Bermudez and Melissa Leu, Los Angeles Times
For Julio Salgado and many others, the limbo of being an illegal immigrant - the fear of deportation, the hiding in plain sight, the uncertainties of the underground economy - appeared to vanish abruptly Friday. "We can exist now in the eyes of the country," said Salgado, 28, a Berkeley artist who got a degree from Cal State Long Beach two years ago but said his status as an undocumented immigrant has forced him to scrape together off-the-books jobs as an illustrator and fast-food worker.
June 15, 2012 | By Michael Finnegan and Matea Gold
Reporting from Milford, N.H., and Washington - Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney suggested Friday that he was open to helping young illegal immigrants but said the new policy announced Friday by the Obama administration to suspend their deportations complicates efforts to find a permanent solution. “I believe the status of young people who come here through no fault of their own is an important matter to be considered and should be solved on a long-term basis so they know what their future would be in this country," Romney told reporters after a rally in New Hampshire.
June 15, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli
The Obama administration's announcement of a halt to deportation for young illegal immigrants sharpens a contrast on a major issue for Latino voters, an essential part of the president's coalition if he is to win a second term. And it comes as some Republican leaders have expressed concern about the party's standing with the burgeoning electoral force, a particular concern given presidential standard-bearer Mitt Romney's hard-line stance on illegal immigration. On Friday morning, before news broke of the administration's policy change, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said it was essential for Republicans to improve their appeal among Latinos.
June 15, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro and Matea Gold
WASHINGTON -- Republican Sen. Marco Rubio-- whose reaction to the Obama administration's immigration order will likely be one of the most closely watched of his party-- issued a carefully worded statement Friday that called for helping young illegal immigrants but criticized the president's approach. “There is broad support for the idea that we should figure out a way to help kids who are undocumented through no fault of their own, but there is also broad consensus that it should be done in a way that does not encourage illegal immigration in the future,” the Florida senator said.
June 15, 2012 | By Matea Gold and Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration's announcement Friday that it will suspend the deportation of young illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children drew ebullient praise from advocates who have been lobbying for changes to the country's immigration policies. “This is huge,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America's Voice Education Fund. “As a result of today's decision, hundreds of thousands of young people who are American in all but paperwork will have the opportunity to live freely, work legally, and contribute to the country they love.” The move by the administration came as some of the young immigrants who have been pushing for a path to citizenship prepared to take part in college graduation ceremonies.
June 15, 2012 | By Brian Bennett and Christi Parsons
Gathered around a conference table one day in late April, Democratic senators had a specific request for White House aides: take a closer look at using executive power to shield young illegal immigrants from deportation. One week earlier, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) had told reporters about his plans to propose a scaled-back version of the Dream Act - - legislation designed to provide help to young immigrants. Democrats were skeptical that Rubio could gain his own party's support for that idea.
June 15, 2012 | By Matea Gold
WASHINGTON -- As President Obama spoke in the Rose Garden on Friday, a jubilant tableau played out in front in the White House gates as a few hundred young people -- several of them who said they were facing the prospect of deportation -- celebrated his decision to give immunity to young illegal immigrants. Cheers and chants of “S i, se puede !” (“Yes, we can!) blared across Pennsylvania Avenue. "I thank God," Jorge Steven Acuña, a 19-year-old from Germantown, Md., told the crowd.
June 15, 2012 | By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON-- The Obama administration will stop deporting young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and who do not pose a security threat, senior administration officials said this morning, a move that could prove important in a presidential campaign that will turn in part on who wins over Latino voters. Effective immediately, young immigrants who arrived in the U.S. illegally before they turned 16 will be allowed to apply for work permits as long as they have no criminal history and meet other criteria, officials said.
June 15, 2012 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- The first GOP reaction to the Obamaadministration's decision to stop deportations of some young illegal immigrants is coming in. It is as expected: firmly opposed. Although some Republicans have supported similar efforts in the past, the party has turned away from measures viewed as soft on illegal immigrants, including the Dream Act, which would have allowed some young immigrants brought here illegally as children to stay in the U.S. The bill was voted down in 2010. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican known for calling for tougher immigration laws, immediately denounced the administration's decision as “amnesty.” “It also blatantly ignores the rule of law that is the foundation of our democracy,” Smith said in a statement.
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