The Obama administration's deferred action program, which is intended
to let undocumented immigrants age 30 and under avoid deportation, is
just getting started amid concerns the initiative could abruptly end if
Republican nominee Mitt Romney wins the presidency.
Rivlin, spokesman for U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Chicago), a consistent
national voice on immigration policy, acknowledges that program
applications have “taken more time per applicant” than initially
anticipated. “It takes a while to fill out the application and get all
the documents you need,” Rivlin says.
A historic Obama administration executive order kicked in today that
would enable 1.4 million undocumented immigrants under the age of 30
to apply for a two-year reprieve from the threat of deportation.
the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom in Chicago the initial demand was
overwhelming – up to 15,000 people showed up to apply at a “Dream Relief
Day” organized by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee
Rights (ICIRR) advocacy group. The event doubled as informational
workshop and political rally for additional changes in national
According to ICIRR spokeswoman Monica Trevino,
only 1,500 of the undocumented immigrants who snaked their way around
Navy Pier into the ballroom were able to fill out an application. The
rest were given a packet on how to apply, information that is also
available on DreamRelief.org.
“There were more people than we anticipated,” Trevino says. “It was nice to see that people are really interested.”
The Obama administration issues guidelines tomorrow for a plan that will allow up to 1.4 million undocumented immigrants in America to live in the
U.S. without fear of deportation for two years.
When announced by President Barack Obama in June, the policy was hailed
as a major breakthrough by immigrant rights advocates. There are
questions, though, about implementation and whether the program will
lead to further pro-immigrant initiatives.
But U.S. Rep. Luis
Gutierrez (D-Chicago), a national leader on immigration issues and a past Obama critic on the topic, spoke confidently today about the implementation, stating that DHS “is going to be
ready” August 15, the day the policy kicks off.
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Chicago) championed this afternoon
President Barack Obama’s Friday announcement that the Department of
Homeland Security would enable a large swath of undocumented immigrants
under the age of 30 to avoid deportation.
The announcement could mean a work
permit, drivers license, and living without the fear of deportation for
an estimated 70,000 people in Illinois and 1.4 million people
nationally, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data from the Migration Policy Institute.
Gutierrez also focused on the implementation of Obama’s executive
action, warning that there will be people “who want to exploit and take
advantage of this situation” by, for example, making immigrants pay for
bogus legal information.
The Crete Village Board unanimously voted Monday night not to go
forward with a planned federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement
(ICE) detention center in their village boundaries – meaning ICE will
likely approach another small town near Chicago.
The Illinois spring legislative session ended last night, meaning state lawmakers will meet just once again the rest of the year, for a brief fall veto session, though Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to convene lawmakers this summer to pass pension legislation.
Key legislative items were decided, including the House rejecting a bill to effectively ban a federal immigrant detention center, but passing a bill to bring back an early release prison program.
With the clock ticking on whether a bill to effectively halt an immigrant detention center in Crete passes the Illinois General Assembly, the Illinois House member who represents Crete unloaded on that town’s Village Board for not taking a clear position on the matter.
“They have failed their residents and they have failed me as a representative,” State Rep. Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago Heights) told Progress Illinois. “There is a lack of courage and a lack of leadership on the part of village trustees.”