U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) released the following statement in response to the announcement by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today that effective immediately, certain young people will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization. Senator Cardin is a cosponsor of the federal Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act and supports the Maryland DREAM Act.
“I applaud President Obama for taking action to show that America can be a fair and compassionate country while still strengthening our national security. The announcement today recognizes that we should not hold hardworking, innocent children responsible for the actions of their parents. We should focus our immigration enforcement on the most dangerous individuals rather than children who mostly have known no other country than the U.S.,” said Senator Cardin. “I welcome the President’s call for Congress to pass the DREAM Act, which provides a permanent pathway for upstanding young men and women to give back to their adopted country and local communities through military service or to complete a higher education.”
In the 111th Congress, the DREAM Act passed the House and received a strong bipartisan support from 55 Senators. The DREAM Act is supported by labor, business, education, civil rights and religious groups, including the AFL-CIO, the National PTA, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the CEOs of Fortune 100 companies like Microsoft and Pfizer, and dozens of colleges and universities.