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DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz Responds to King Amendment on Deferred Action

Earlier today House Republicans passed an amendment sponsored by extreme right-wing Representative Steve King that defunds the Department of Homeland Security’s deferred action for young people who are low law enforcement priorities.

In response to the vote, DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:

“Last year, the Obama Administration took steps to turn an important part of the DREAM Act into a reality by delaying the deportation of young people who do not pose a risk to national security or public safety, most of whom grew up in America and cannot remember any other country as being home.

“Today, Steve King and the Tea Party-led House passed an amendment defunding that order and in doing so said to hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to this country as children and want nothing more than to have a chance at the American dream: ‘we don’t want you.’  We should recognize the achievements of these young people who are already contributing to our society. Instead of allowing DHS to do their job and focus on removing those who are considered a risk to national security or public safety, they want to target otherwise law-abiding young adults for deportation. Republicans should be ashamed of themselves.

“Despite multiple GOP “autopsy” reports on the 2012 Election and pledges to be a more inclusive party, it is clear Republicans are just as hell-bent on pursuing the same extreme right-wing policies that led to their electoral defeat last November. In fact, the Republican Party has lurched even farther to the right, going from the party that wants undocumented immigrants to ‘self-deport’ to a party who wants to go back to the days of targeting young people for deportation.”

“The key question moving forward is will the GOP-led House move in the direction of commonsense immigration reform that fixes our broken system and creates a path to earned citizenship or will it go backwards and target young people that are here through no fault of their own and who are contributing to our communities?”

BACKGROUND ON DEFERRED ACTION:

WHEN CONGRESS FAILED TO ACT, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCED A POLICY CHANGE TO LIFT THE SHADOW OF DEPORTATION FROM YOUNG PEOPLE BROUGHT TO THIS COUNTRY THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN


President Obama: “Effective Immediately, The Department Of Homeland Security Is Taking Steps To Lift The Shadow Of Deportation From These Young People.”  “Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people.  Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.” [Remarks By The President On Immigration, 6/15/12]

The Obama Administration’s Policy Would Temporarily Protect Undocumented Immigrants From Deportation If They Came To The U.S. Before They Turned 16 And Are Currently Younger Than 30. “Under the administration plan, illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military.” [Associated Press, 6/15/12]

·         Under The Obama Administration’s Policy, Young Undocumented Immigrants Would Be Allowed To Apply For A Two-Year, Renewable Work Permit. “They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed. The officials who described the plan spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss it in advance of the official announcement. The policy will not lead toward citizenship but will remove the threat of deportation and grant the ability to work legally, leaving eligible immigrants able to remain in the United States for extended periods.” [Associated Press, 6/15/12]

President Obama: This Action “Is Not Amnesty, This Is Not Immunity. This Is Not A Path To Citizenship. It’s Not A Permanent Fix. This Is A Temporary Stopgap Measure.”  “Now, let's be clear -- this is not amnesty, this is not immunity.  This is not a path to citizenship.  It's not a permanent fix.  This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.  It is the right thing to do.” [Remarks By The President On Immigration, 6/15/12]