On November 20, President Obama announced a plan to suspend deportations for some 3.7 million undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for at least five years and have children who are legal citizens or permanent residents. If these individuals pass a background check and pay an administrative fee, they will be allowed to apply for work permits valid for three years, after which they must reapply for suspended deportation status.
In addition, the President is:
- expanding a program for foreign students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM);
- creating more options for foreign entrepreneurs who can obtain funding to start a business here;
- making the process easier for those who are waiting to become legal permanent residents (allowing them to travel home more easily, for example).
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued the following statement in response:
“The President’s brave and much-needed plan comes as a great sigh of relief to millions of immigrants to our country and city. The incredibly hard work of these residents strengthens our economy, and their U.S.-born children deserve to be treated as the citizens they are without the constant threat of deportation breaking up their families.
“Immigrants are the lifeblood of New York City. They start small businesses, create vibrant communities, and shape our city’s culture, just as Jewish, Irish, and Italian immigrants did in past generations. That’s why the President’s actions are cause for celebration.
“There is much more to do, of course—and we must pressure our representatives in Washington to make the American Dream a reality for many millions of immigrants who have not become parents while living here.”
Categories: Press Releases