President Announces Administrative Relief for Immigrant Youth Eligible for DREAM Act

Immigrants and advocates in Massachusetts applaud decision

June 25th, 2012 BOSTON — This morning, the Obama administration announced that it will provide administrative relief for young people eligible for the DREAM Act. This action covers anyone who came to the United States before age 16, is currently under age 31, has been here for at least five years, is a student or has earned a high school degree or GED or served in the military, and poses no threat to public safety or national security. Starting today, these young people will NOT be deported, and they will be eligible to receive a renewable two-year work permit.

Eva Millona, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition made the following statement:

"We commend the administration for taking this humane and common-sense action to relieve the plight of thousands of young people. Most of these diverse, bright and promising young men and women were brought to this country by their parents, grew up pledging allegiance to the United States in our schools, and want to contribute to this nation through service in the military or by earning a college degree.

Until today, that dream was painfully distant from realization. Now, these young immigrants can step forward and begin to fulfill the promise of their talents. The administration's actions today won't solve their plight – the legal limbo can only be completely resolved by an act of Congress. Together, we will all continue to fight for a permanent resolution through immigration reform.

But this administrative relief will allow thousands of youth in Massachusetts and hundreds of thousands across the nation to continue on the path toward prosperity and happiness. We offer our deepest thanks to all the members of the administration, to the MIRA members and allies who have worked so hard for this achievement, to our partners across the nation in the "Change Takes Courage" campaign for standing together through thick and thin, and of course for the young people who have fought for their own rights with such inspiring bravery. We feel a great relief and a profound sense of joy for them, and for the contributions they can now continue to make to this great nation."

Heloisa Galvao, Executive Director of the Brazilian Women's Group reiterated the last point: "This victory is the student's victory first and foremost. They had the courage to stand up for what they believe in, to put themselves at risk. This day wouldn't have happened if it not for young people like Renata Teodoro and Conrado Santos, two Brazilian immigrants from the Student Immigrant Movement, and for thousands of others across Massachusetts and the nation who have stepped forward to say they were undocumented and unafraid. We have to take this courage and use it to show all those who have lost hope that the promise of this country is real, and that it pays to defeat your fear. We give thanks to all the students who fought for this, and we encourage everyone to pick up the phone and call the White House and say thank you so much!"