(Hartford, CT) – Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) released the following statement this afternoon on the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement that it will adopt specific criteria to focus enforcement resources on individuals posing public safety and national security risks and minimize the deportation of low-priority individuals, such as DREAM Act eligible young people:
“I commend Secretary Napolitano and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as President Obama, for the significant and very welcome news that DHS plans to adopt a more commonsense, humane approach to the cases of DREAM Act eligible individuals and others who are a low enforcement priority – our friends and neighbors who seriously contribute to our communities in Connecticut and across the country every day. The new guidelines will also apply to others, including those who have served our nation with honor, such as veterans and members of our military.”
Blumenthal and 21 Senate colleagues sent a letter to Secretary Napolitano in April requesting that DHS and the Administration review its policy toward DREAM Act eligible individuals, noting that they “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 children should not be punished for their parents’ mistakes.”
The new criteria for exercising discretion will be based on positive characteristics, including law-abiding individuals present in the U.S. since childhood seeking educational opportunities, such as DREAM Act eligible students, as well as veterans and members of the Armed Services who have served our country with honor. When fully implemented, this new process should halt the deportation of virtually all DREAM Act eligible individuals. The new guidelines will allow DHS to better direct its enforcement resources to target high-priority individuals for deportation, such as aliens posing a serious danger to national security or a risk to public safety.