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.”