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I have spent my legislative career working on just policy relative to immigrants. I introduced the MN Dream Act Bill, which provided affordable access to college for undocumented youth who grew up in our state and who aspired to furthering their education and giving back to society. The bi-partisan bill passed in 2007 and shows Minnesota is a decent, smart society. Gov Pawlenty would not sign it so we compromised but still did some good.
Now a new policy by Pres Obama gives hope to thousands of wonderful young people who are American in every way except they do not have their citizenship papers. Effective immediately, young people who were brought to the United States by their families as children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria will be eligible for some relief from fear of removal from the country. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal.
Some have grown up to become valedictorians of their class and many have gone on to college or served in our military. This new policy gives many young people a powerful reason to stay in school and complete their education. Our country and state will certainly benefit from this historic justice victory for Latinos and for all Americans
The criteria these young people need to meet are:
- Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
- Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
- Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
- Are not above the age of thirty
I believe that the key issue with this policy is that it is focused on young people, who were too young to have made the decision to enter the U.S. without permission and have lived in this country much of their lives. Some have grown up to become valedictorians of their class and many have gone on to college or served in our military. I believe this new policy gives many young people a powerful reason to stay in school and complete their education. As we continue to slowly emerge from the economic recession, our country and state will certainly benefit from the willingness of these young people to contribute to our economic prosperity and success.
You can read more on this by visiting the following website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/06/15/deferred-action-process-certain-young-people-smart-and-sensible-immigration-policy
As always, I encourage you to contact me with your ideas and suggestions. You can reach me at 651-296-9714 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rep. Carlos Mariani