The White House reportedly is making an immigration policy change that will give many young undocumented immigrants essentially some of the benefits of the DREAM Act without waiting for the measure to make it through Congress.
Sources say that the White House policy is actually similar to the proposal that Florida Senator Mario Rubio is working on as an alternative to the DREAM Act. The new federal policy could affect as many as 800,000 young immigrants who came to the United States with their parents.
The Associated Press reports that the plan will allow undocumented immigrants who entered the country before they turned 16-years-old with the ability to live in the United States with less reason to fear deportation.
Immigrants who entered the country under the age of 16 with their parents could avoid deportation if they have been in the U.S. continuously for five years, have no criminal history, have served in the military, or have a high school diploma, or a GED. The immigrants who qualify under the new policy would be eligible to apply for a work permit.
Work permits granted under the policy would be good for two years, but the permits could be renewed. Sources say that there would be no limit to the number of available renewals under the White House policy.The new policy reportedly applied to immigrants under the age of 30 who entered the country as a child.
News of the policy broke Friday morning. The president is expected to speak on the issue from the Rose Garden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is also expected to publicly weigh in. The Associated Press reported the news, based upon information learned from two senior administration officials.
Sources say that the policy will not provide a pathway to citizenship.
Some details about the policy are still being worked out.
The senior administration officials described the policy based upon a condition of anonymity in advance of an official announcement, which is still expected Friday.
Source: Associated Press, "AP sources: Immunity offered to certain immigrants," Alicia A. Caldwell, June 15, 2012