WBEZ | deferred action http://www.wbez.org/tags/deferred-action Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Durbin: Youth deportation reprieve to hold up http://www.wbez.org/news/durbin-youth-deportation-reprieve-hold-101722 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Dreamers3scaled.jpg" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px; float: left; height: 225px; width: 300px; " title="Undocumented students protest in 2010 at a GOP office in Chicago. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, says any attempt to reverse President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy would spark a public outcry. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" />President Barack Obama&rsquo;s administration says it will start accepting applications Wednesday from some immigrants to get a temporary reprieve from deportation. That&rsquo;s under a controversial policy the administration is calling Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The immigrants won&rsquo;t get a path to citizenship &mdash; distinguishing the policy from stalled legislation, known as the Dream Act, that U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, (D-Ill.) has been pushing for more than a decade. But an estimated 1.7 million young people will have their first shot at valid papers to live and work in the country. Durbin is planning to attend a Wednesday event at Chicago&rsquo;s Navy Pier to help about 1,500 of these youths with the application. He told WBEZ&rsquo;s Chip Mitchell that this is an important moment for them.</p><p>DURBIN: It is a leap of faith on their part. Many of them have lived in the shadows for years and now they&rsquo;re stepping up to say to this government, &ldquo;We&rsquo;re here and we&rsquo;re ready to follow your law.&rdquo; I think it&rsquo;s going to be a day that they&rsquo;re going to remember for a long, long time.</p><p>MITCHELL: Yet, Senator Durbin, some immigrant advocates are calling the &ldquo;deferred action&rdquo; policy risky for the undocumented youths because they&rsquo;d be revealing details about their immigration status &mdash; [and] biometrics for the first time, in many cases &mdash; to the same government department that could one day deport them. The next president could throw out President Obama&rsquo;s policy as quickly as January. But you&rsquo;re recommending that the youths apply anyway. Could you be putting them in danger?</p><p>DURBIN: I believe the fact that two out of three Americans believe President Obama did the right thing &mdash; that most everyone agrees that children should not be held responsible for the wrongdoing of their parents &mdash; argues that ultimately that, once they come forward, once they comply with the law and become part of the system, it won&rsquo;t be reversed. And, if someone tries it, in either political party, if someone should try that in the future, I think there will be a strong public reaction in support of these young people and against efforts to rescind it.</p><p>MITCHELL: Some Republicans in Congress are criticizing the program&rsquo;s cost. And at least one &mdash; Steve King, not too far away, in Iowa &mdash; is vowing to file a suit to try to force the administration to, in his words, &ldquo;enforce the law.&rdquo; What&rsquo;s your response to him?</p><p>DURBIN: Congressman King of Iowa is notorious. He&rsquo;s kept alive a tradition, which has been in America for a long time, of hating immigrants, resisting immigration, denying what America is today &mdash; a nation of immigrants. That&rsquo;s his right. He can continue to. But let&rsquo;s get to the bottom line. Let&rsquo;s answer the question directly. These students are going to pay fees to cover all the costs to the federal government. So to argue that this is adding to our debt or deficit is just wrong.</p><p>MITCHELL: . . . Senator, how about the principle of enforcing the law as it stands &mdash; the rules enacted by Congress about who gets to stay in the U.S. and who doesn&rsquo;t? The law says these young people are not supposed to be in the country.</p><p>DURBIN: Every day, at every level of government, prosecutorial discretion is used. In other words, the government, with the power to continue a lawsuit or to start a lawsuit, decides, &ldquo;No, there are more important things to do with our resources to keep America safe.&rdquo; President Obama has made a decision. These young people who are here, being brought here as children, who have no significant criminal record of any kind and are ready to come forward and be part of the system, should not be a high priority for taking people out of our country. I think he&rsquo;s right. He&rsquo;s using prosecutorial discretion &mdash; the enforcement decision &mdash; which every government has used and has been recognized by the Supreme Court.</p><p>MITCHELL: Some immigrant advocates are criticizing the timing of President Obama&rsquo;s &ldquo;deferred action&rdquo; policy. He could have taken this step, after all, as soon as he took office in 2009. So these advocates are calling it a play for Latino support just months before he&rsquo;s up for reelection. What do you think?</p><p>DURBIN: The president is in a terrible situation now. Anything he does this year will be viewed in this context of the political campaign. I know where Barack Obama stands. He was a cosponsor of the Dream Act. He worked for its passage. He voted for it. And he&rsquo;s told me from the start that he will sign it as president of the United States, unlike Mitt Romney, who has promised to veto it. Two years ago, I said to the president, &ldquo;If we can&rsquo;t pass it in the Senate, because of the Republican filibuster, will you at least protect these young people from deportation until we can pass it?&rdquo; And he said he would. I think he&rsquo;s kept his word and he&rsquo;s been consistent.</p><p>MITCHELL: The Obama administration, nevertheless, is deporting people at a record pace &mdash; about 400,000 a year. Has this president done all he could for undocumented immigrants &mdash; the roughly 10 million people living and working in the shadows in this country &mdash; and for their families?</p><p>DURBIN: Well, of course, there are deportations and there must be. In some cases there are people who are dangerous to America, living here illegally with a criminal record or some major problem that brings them to the attention of our government. And, in those circumstances, every president has a responsibility to keep America safe. I&rsquo;ve never heard anyone argue that these Dream Act students are a danger to America. The president has made this decision. I think it is the right decision. And, ultimately, he has to depend on Congress to pass immigration reform. There&rsquo;s only so much the president can do on his own. I think we should and I hope we can do it on a bipartisan basis.</p></p> Tue, 14 Aug 2012 16:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/durbin-youth-deportation-reprieve-hold-101722 Durbin to undocumented youths: Watch out for unscrupulous lawyers http://www.wbez.org/news/durbin-undocumented-youths-watch-out-unscrupulous-lawyers-101546 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Durbin4cropscaled.jpg" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px 0px; float: left; height: 401px; width: 250px; " title="‘Don’t let them exploit you,’ the senator tells immigrants in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood Tuesday afternoon. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" />Two U.S. congressmen from Illinois are warning undocumented youths not to pay steep fees to get help applying for a deportation reprieve under a new immigration policy.</p><p>Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, both Democrats, say most eligible youths can take advantage of the policy, known as &ldquo;deferred action,&rdquo; without a lawyer or any payment beyond a $465 fee to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency accepting the applications.</p><p>&ldquo;There are <em>notarios </em>as well as attorneys out there who are trying to take money away from these young people and their families,&rdquo; Durbin said Tuesday afternoon at a meeting with immigrants in Chicago&rsquo;s Pilsen neighborhood. &ldquo;They say, &lsquo;Oh, give me $1,000, give me $2,000, and I will help you.&rsquo; &rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Don&rsquo;t let them exploit you,&rdquo; Durbin said.</p><p>Under the policy, announced by President Barack Obama&rsquo;s administration in June, undocumented immigrants can request permission to stay and work in the country by submitting a document starting August 15. The administration, which has not released that document yet, is expecting more than 1 million requests, according to an Associated Press report.</p><p>To qualify, immigrants must be 30 or younger, have arrived in the United States before turning 16, have lived in the country at least five years, and be in school or graduated or served in the military. They also must have no criminal record and pose no safety threat. The permission to live and work in the country lasts two years and is renewable.</p><p>The policy does not provide a path to citizenship &mdash; a key difference from stalled legislation, known as the DREAM Act, that Durbin has pushed for more than a decade.</p><p>Durbin and Gutiérrez urged immigrants who may be eligible for relief under the policy to attend an August 15 workshop at Chicago&rsquo;s Navy Pier, where the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is organizing hundreds of volunteers to provide information and help fill out the applications.</p><p>Gutiérrez added that the policy could lead to an overhaul that stretches far beyond the youths. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s incumbent upon us, now that we&rsquo;ve got this, to move on to their moms and their dads,&rdquo; the representative said. &ldquo;Comprehensive immigration reform is what is necessary and that&rsquo;s what we&rsquo;re going to work on next.&rdquo;</p><p>Conservative critics call the Obama policy a backdoor amnesty plan aimed at increasing the president&rsquo;s Latino support before November&rsquo;s election.</p></p> Tue, 07 Aug 2012 16:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/durbin-undocumented-youths-watch-out-unscrupulous-lawyers-101546