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Press Release

ADL Welcomes President Obama's Immigration Policy Change Protecting Young Undocumented Immigrants From Deportation

New York, NY, June 15, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today praised President Barack Obama for his administration's decision not to seek deportation for as many as 800,000 young undocumented immigrants, calling the move "a responsible and important step in the right direction" toward comprehensive immigration reform.

Under a directive from the administration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, effective immediately, will no longer seek to deport immigrants under the age of 30 living in the U.S., provided that they came to the U.S. under the age of 16, have lived in the U.S. for at least five years, have met schooling or military requirements, and have not committed a crime or do not pose a threat to national security.

Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

We commend President Barack Obama and the Department of Homeland Security for giving young people who were brought to this country as children, and had no role in their undocumented entry to the U.S., a chance to legally contribute to our society.

This decision, an appropriate exercise of prosecutorial discretion, is a responsible and important step in the right direction toward comprehensive immigration reform. It means that as many as 800,000 young immigrants who have grown up in our communities and led exemplary lives will no longer live in fear of arrest or deportation because of their citizenship status.

While this new plan accomplishes some of the worthwhile goals of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act which Congress failed to pass, it does not provide a path to legal citizenship. We hope that Congress will reconsider and establish such a path as an important element of meaningful immigration policy reform.

ADL has long supported comprehensive reform of U.S. immigration policy that strikes the right balance between border security and respect for individual rights and human dignity. The League has filed briefs with federal courts regarding immigration laws in Arizona, Georgia (PDF), Alabama (PDF), South Carolina (PDF) and Utah.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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