On August 15, 2012, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service began accepting applications for deferred action from DREAMers. Since DREAMers are applying for deferred action pursuant to a policy created by President Obama, and not a law, that policy can change if President Obama is not re-elected. Mitt Romney has stated that he opposes the President’s policy and will create his own policy. Mitt Romney has not explained what this policy will be. Mitt Romney has stated that he opposes the DREAM Act, that he favors enforcement of the immigration laws, wants “self deportation,” and is against amnesty type programs because he believes that they encourage the violation of our immigration laws. With all of these young people coming out of the shadows and paying filing fees and lawyer fees, they should know what will happen to them, if Mitt Romney is elected. Mitt Romney should issue a definitive statement about what will happen to the DREAMers, if he is elected.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (“U.S. C.I.S.”) has issued a detailed page on its website with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). The answer to the question: “Will the information I share in my request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals be used for immigration enforcement purposes?” indicates that the information will not be used for enforcement purposes unless the individual meets the “criteria” for being placed in removal proceedings. Interestingly, the answer to this question contains the following disclaimer at the end:
This policy, which may be modified, superseded, or rescinded at any time without notice, is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any administrative, civil, or criminal matter.
Another FAQ asks, “If USCIS does not exercise deferred action in my case, will I be placed in removal proceedings?” The answer to this FAQ is “If your case does not involve a criminal offense, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety, your case will not be referred to ICE for purposes of removal proceedings except where DHS determines there are exceptional circumstances.” However, this FAQ does not have a disclaimer. I consider the lack of a disclaimer for this question to be extremely misleading. Both FAQs should have the same disclaimer or the disclaimer should appear at the beginning and clearly indicate that it applies to the entire program.
The Obama Administration has an ethical and moral obligation to make the public aware that his policy can not only be rescinded if he is not re-elected, but that the individuals who apply under this program could be placed in removal proceedings, if Mitt Romney were to be elected and decided that DREAMers should be deported. Mr. Romney’s website is critical of President Obama for “selective” enforcement of the immigration laws and indicates that: (1) he will discourage illegal immigration; (2) enforce the law; and (3) oppose amnesty for illegal immigration. Unless Mr. Romney indicates that he will not deport DREAMers, no one should apply for deferred action under the President’s policy until after the election. What’s the harm in waiting until November?
DREAMers should not be pawns in President Obama’s political game of chess in getting re-elected. He is putting people who are vulnerable and desperate at risk.
All over the internet, there seems to be a buzz about President Obama’s policy to grant deferred action for non-citizens who would benefit from the DREAM Act. Everyone seems to be excited about the idea that individuals who are undocumented will have the opportunity to work legally and not fear deportation. Everyone seems to be praising President Obama for his policy. I do not share their enthusiasm.
President Obama has merely issued a policy. This is NOT a law. Once the Obama Presidency is over, the next president is free to discontinue the policy. What President Obama has done is not a wonderful thing. It is an election year stunt that is taking advantage of people who are desperate. During the Republican Primaries, Mitt Romney repeatedly stated that he opposed the DREAM Act, so it should be no surprise that Mr. Romney has come out and stated that he will not continue the policy, if he is elected.
A lot of people may be thinking that if they get their paper work in right away, it will be approved and they’ll have deferred action for 2 years. When President Obama announced his policy in June, he indicated that it would take the Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) until August 15th to come up with a procedure for applying. There is a rumor that there will be a filing fee. I suspect that due to the volume of requests that will be received, as well as the bureaucracy that will be created to process the requests, it will take months for the requests to be processed. It’s very likely to take months for these applications to be processed. If CIS actually begins accepting applications on August 15th, it’s not likely that it will be approved before the election. If Obama loses and your application is not processed before Romney takes office, they you will have wasted your money on the application. If you file before the election and Romney wins, not only is it likely that you will not receive deferred action, but you run the risk of bringing yourself to the attention of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation. The election is a little over three months away. What’s the harm in waiting to file your deferred action request?