Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Agudah applauds President Obama Immigration policy for the young.

The immigration policy enunciated by the Obama Administration regarding individuals who entered the United States in their youth was applauded by Agudath Israel of America, a national Orthodox Jewish organization. Under the new U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) directive, there would be “deferred action” for a period of two years in regard to some individuals who face removal from the country. Persons falling within this category will be eligible to apply for work authorization.
“The policy is both pragmatic and proper,” said David Grunblatt, Chair of Agudath Israel’s Legal Services Network Immigration Committee. “These foreign-born individuals were brought to this country as youngsters, were educated here, have contributed their talents here and continue to live here. They should not live in the shadow of being expelled from the U.S. to a country where they have never lived and might not even speak the language.”
The DHS’ policy is discretionary in nature and is intended to be applied on a case by case basis to persons not above age 30. Eligibility criteria include: entry into the U.S. under age 16, continuous residence for five years, and current enrollment in school, graduation from high school or honorable discharge from the Armed Forces. Persons will not be deemed eligible if they have been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
DHS has also made clear that “deferred action” confers no substantive right, immigration status, or pathway to citizenship.
“The policy addresses an urgent and unfortunate situation — one that has affected many members of the Jewish Community that have sought our help but for whom little could be done,” concluded Rabbi Abba Cohen, Agudath Israel’s Vice President for Federal Affairs and Washington Director. “And, given our community’s history, we must be particularly sensitive that our immigration policies embody compassion and common sense. This is a positive step in that direction.”

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. The knee-jerk reaction would be against this measure, primarily because it erodes national security and also because it originates from Obama, whose positions Agudah normally opposes. Yet in this case it is beneficial to Agudah's interests.