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Is Deferred Action on Student Deportation Proceedings Enough?

Jul 31, 2020
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The DREAM Act, a bill that would help some undocumented students get green cards, has stalled in Congress. But as The New York Times reported earlier this week, immigration officials are sparing many students from deportation, reflecting the Obama administration’s push to prioritize deporting illegal immigrants convicted of crimes.
Still, many undocumented students are living in constant fear of deportation, The Miami Herald reported today:
Activists and immigration attorneys in Miami also said that while some students in the area have been given reprieves, they were not all granted willingly or voluntarily by immigration officials. Rather, they were won by aggressive and effective immigration attorneys who extracted them from reluctant officials. Some of the reprieves are known as deferred action, which suspends deportation usually for a year.
“The administration is not granting deferred action to all undocumented students,” said Cheryl Little, executive director of Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, the Miami-based immigrant rights group that represents the bulk of prominent foreign undocumented student cases in South Florida. “On the contrary, it is doing so only on a case-by-case basis and usually after lawyers petition them to do so. We have had to fight tooth and nail to get deferred action.’”
Advocates of the DREAM Act and members of the Obama administration have said the DREAM Act is needed to help these students, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said it lacks the votesto proceed.
Part of the problem is with progressive Democrats, some of whom think the billshould be part of comprehensive immigration reform. The Washington Post op-ed page called todayfor Congress to pass the act in lieu of comprehensive reform:
Such students demonstrate the hope and promise of a better life that America has always held out to those who seek its shores. But without the Dream Act, they remain vulnerable to deportation.
Comprehensive immigration reform is necessary to repair the broken immigration system that strands thousands of deserving would-be immigrants on endless waiting lists. But it may not be achieved before the end of the congressional session. This is no excuse not to pass a sensible, narrowly tailored measure that could have a significant, positive impact.
Hajra Shannon

Hajra Shannon

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Hajra Shannona is a highly experienced journalist with over 9 years of expertise in news writing, investigative reporting, and political analysis. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Columbia University and has contributed to reputable publications focusing on global affairs, human rights, and environmental sustainability. Hajra's authoritative voice and trustworthy reporting reflect her commitment to delivering insightful news content. Beyond journalism, she enjoys exploring new cultures through travel and pursuing outdoor photography
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