Durbin: Young illegal immigrants now have a chance

June 15, 2012

The Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says the Obama administration's decision to stop deporting some younger illegal immigrants will allow thousands of people brought to the country as children "a chance to be part of the future of America."

The policy change announced Friday will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the DREAM Act, which Durbin introduced 11 years ago. But it doesn't offer a pathway to citizenship, which the Illinois senator is seeking.

Speaking alongside Durbin at a news conference in Chicago, Palestinian Alaa Mukahhal said she hoped the change would stop her own deportation proceedings. The 25-year-old architecture graduate was brought to the U.S. as a child by her parents.