President Obama announced important news on the issue of immigration about which the social justice and human rights community, including NASW, is excited. As reported today by most major media outlets:
“The Obama administration announced on Friday that it would no longer seek the deportation of most young illegal immigrants, a significant policy shift with potentially major electoral implications. The Department of Homeland Security said that, effective immediately, the government would no longer seek the deportation of illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, and would allow them to apply for work permits if they meet certain criteria.”
“A senior administration official said in a conference call with reporters that as many as 800,000 undocumented immigrants stand to benefit from this change. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that the shift represented neither immunity nor amnesty…. The shift essentially accomplishes many of the legislative intentions of the DREAM Act, an immigration reform bill that had stalled in Congress due to Republican objections. President Barack Obama favors the legislation, while presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has said he would veto that law.”*
This news is a significant action by the Administration towards immigration reform and represents the type of progressive social justice policy for which social workers have fought for many years. NASW feels this new immigration policy is a strong move in the right direction.
Related NASW Resources:
Social Workers Support Young Immigrants’ DREAMs (July 2010)
(Update 6/21: *Link to Video added for clarification)