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By Jude Paul Dizon
May 20, 2014
Credit : AP/Jacquelyn Martin.

United We Dream (UWD), an immigrant youth rights organization, met with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson.

While DHS has been making attempts to review and reform its deportation policies following an order from President Obama, “ the administration is long overdue in taking any serious action on immigration policies,” Prathistha Kahnna said, a member of the Maryland Dream Youth Committee.

During the meeting, UWD members shared immigration stories and presented a platform of proposals for Executive action, including: 

1. Expand DACA to families.

2. Stop deportations now.

3. Ensure all DREAMers benefit from DACA.

4. Reunite families separated by deportation.

5. End widespread incarceration of communities.

These proposals reflect broad and intersecting issues facing immigrant communities, including undocumented individuals and mixed-status families. Recent research highlights the increased number of cases of immigration-related criminal charges and nonjudicial removals. Additionally, while helpful to some, DACA and state DREAM Acts are not expansive enough to benefit all youth due to criteria, which include age of arrival and cut-off years for eligibility.

“With the push of immigrant communities around the nation, I do believe that now the administration will not hesitate to make the right decision and stop the senseless, unnecessary pain it has inflicted on so many of my friends and others,” Khanna said. “However, just like the immigration reform that has remained a promise for the past 6 years, I believe, this awakening is too late.”

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