A group of “22 Senate Democrats wants President Barack Obama to bypass Congress and use his executive power to delay deportations of illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children,” POLITICO reports.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and others sent a letter to Obama this week urging him to suspend deportation for thousands of immigrants who would have been affected by the DREAM Act.
The immigration bill passed the Democrat-controlled House but came up five votes short in the Senate during December’s lame-duck session. The legislation has stalled with Republicans now in charge of the House.
“Granting deferred action to DREAM Act students, who are not an enforcement priority for [the Homeland Security Department], helps to conserve limited enforcement resources. …” the senators wrote in the letter, which was made public Thursday. “We strongly believe that DREAM Act students should not be removed from the United States, because they have great potential to contribute to our country and our children should not be punished for their parents’ mistakes.”
DREAM Act would “put young immigrants on a path toward legal status if they came to the country before the age of 15; have lived in the U.S. for at least five years; don’t have a serious criminal record; have a high school diploma or GED equivalent; and attend college or serve in the military for two years.”