In letters to President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, international education association urges strong leadership and support for program
WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a letter to President Obama this week, NAFSA: Association of International Educators Executive Director Marlene M. Johnson urged "great care" in the implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Admissions (DACA), a Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-administered program that is designed to offer a temporary legal reprieve, on a rigorous case-by-case basis, to undocumented young people who were brought to the United States by their parents as children. The program begins accepting applications today.
NAFSA applauded the Obama Administration's announcement in June that it would end deportations of undocumented young people in the United States who would be eligible for a path to legal status under the DREAM Act, through a deferred-action policy. In her letter to the president, Johnson notes the importance of strong leadership in ensuring that the DACA program is implemented in a way that is "fair and responds to the needs of the community the policy is designed to serve." She highlights in particular the significant risk that immigrants coming forward to seek relief will be taking, particularly those from families of mixed immigration status, and the importance of building confidence in DHS' "ability to efficiently and fairly adjudicate" their applications.
In a separate letter, Johnson asked Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to publicly announce his support for DACA, as an important step toward bolstering confidence in the program in the longer term and ensuring that immigrants who may be eligible for relief are not deterred from applying out of concern that the policy might be overturned under a new administration.
Both letters emphasize that DACA offers only temporary relief and that comprehensive immigration reform is the only durable solution to the challenges plaguing the broken U.S. immigration system.
Find guidance from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on how to apply for deferred action at www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals.
With nearly 10,000 members, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world's largest nonprofit professional association dedicated to international education. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit NAFSA's online home for grassroots advocacy at www.ConnectingOurWorld.org.
SOURCE NAFSA: Association of International Educators