Romney and DACA

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As the race to White House reaches it’s final lap, the fate of immigration, in particular, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), continues to play a key role. This week the Romney camp clarified earlier statements he made in The Denver Post, “The people who received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa  would continue to be valid.”

The Romney camp later clarified the statement, telling the Boston Globe’s Callum Borchers, he “would not revoke temporary deportation exemptions granted to young illegal immigrants under an executive action by President Obama, but he also would not issue new protective documents if elected.”

Since Obama’s order took effect, more than 82,000 DACA requests have been filed, with only 29 completed as of September 13, 2012, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Lorella Praeili, Policy Coordinator of the United We Dream Network, said Romney’s desire to dismantle the DREAMer deferred action policy is troubling for many undocumented people.

“[It’s] perplexing to know he has renewed his commitment to veto the DREAM Act and has called for undocumented youth and our families to ‘self-deport,’” she said.

There are roughly 1.4 million undocumented immigrants eligible for reprieve under DACA. If Romney were elected his vow to halt granting deferred action would possibly leave more than 1 million DREAMers in jeopardy of deportation, according to the United We Dream Network.

HRI has started representing a few eligible minors for DACA pro bono. Many are victims of violent crime, abuse or other human rights violations and there is no other available relief for them.

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