Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced Thursday that the agency would suspend deportation proceedings against many immigrants who are not a threat to national security or public safety.
Under the policy, the agency will review 300,000 cases of people in deportation proceedings to identify those who might qualify for relief, particularly thousands of immigrants who entered the United States as young children, graduated from high school, and intend to pursue college or serve in the military.
“This policy represents an important first step toward reform of our broken immigration system,” Congresswoman Clarke said on Friday. “As Americans, we have a moral responsibility to build an immigration system that protects families and children and supports those individuals who want to contribute to our civil society.”
By reviewing deportation proceeding case-by-case, the Department of Homeland Security will have the ability to avoid expending its resources on low-priority cases in which threats to national security or public safety are not implicated.
“Many of the individuals who will benefit from this policy entered the United States as children,” Clarke said. “Now, as young adults, they want to pursue a college education or serve in the armed forces. Our society should support their commitment to the American Dream. At the same time, we must continue our pursuit of comprehensive immigration reform. We need to have a policy that addresses national security, the importance of strong families and communities, and the development of our economy. These are matters of concern for all Americans. It is my hope that members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, will work together for comprehensive immigration reform.”