The DREAM Act failed to be passed in Congress by Democrats, which would have granted residency and a path to citizenship to; hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. with their parents as youngsters; maintained a clean criminal record; and completed part of college or were serving or served in the U.S. military.
Therefore, in June, President Obama decided to use an executive order and announced a new program allowing that same group, called by many the DREAMers, to be given a deferment of two-years from any deportation proceedings. If those DREAMers are approved by the Citizenship and Immigration Services, they can then apply to receive a work permit.
Alejandro Mayorkas, the director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, said on Tuesday the agency was set to start processing the expected flood of applications. He reminded people that the new program does not give the illegal immigrants complete legal residency.
The director said that the agency created a very rigorous process of review for the request of deferment action under the guidelines that were issued by Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Director Mayorkas said that the early childhood arrivals, who have met the guidelines and have their cases deferred can live without having fear of being removed and can contribute their full talents to the U.S.
Lamar Smith, a Republican member of the House of Representatives and the House Judiciary Committee Chairman said that the new program would open doors for a great deal of fraud and unleash torrents of unemployed workers when the rate of unemployment is already a staggering 8.3%.