TEXT

Janet Napolitano Press Release, June 2012

“Secretary Napolitano Announces Deferred Action Process for Young People Who Are Law Enforcement Priorities” is a press release issued by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on June 15, 2012.
Author
Department of Homeland Security
Grade Level

Release Date: June 15, 2012
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary

Contact: 202-282-8010

La Secretaria Napolitano Anuncia Proceso De Accion Diferida Para Jovenes Que Sean De Baja Prioridad Para La Aplicacion De La Ley

WASHINGTON- Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria 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.

“Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner,” said Secretary Napolitano. “But they are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case. Nor are they designed to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language. Discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here.”

DHS continues to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a national security or public safety risk, including immigrants convicted of crimes, violent criminals, felons, and repeat immigration law offenders. Today’s action further enhances the Department’s ability to focus on these priority removals.

Under this directive, individuals who demonstrate that they meet the following criteria will be eligible for an exercise of discretion, specifically deferred action, on a case by case basis:

  1. Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
  2. Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
  3. Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
  5. Are not above the age of thirty.

Only those individuals who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action. Individuals will not be eligible if they are not currently in the United States and cannot prove that they have been physically present in the United States for a period of not less than 5 years immediately preceding today’s date. Deferred action requests are decided on a case-by-case basis. DHS cannot provide any assurance that all such requests will be granted. The use of prosecutorial discretion confers no substantive right, immigration status, or pathway to citizenship. Only the Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer these rights.

Source
This text is in the public domain.
Text Dependent Questions
Question
According to this memo, only young people who arrived in the United States on or after what date will be eligible for deferred action?
Answer
June 15, 2007—at least five years preceding the date of the memorandum.
Question
What argument does Napolitano make for why this policy of deferred action will help national security?
Answer
She argues that the Department of Homeland Security will be able to “focus more on the removal of individuals who pose a national security or public safety risk, including immigrants convicted of crimes, violent criminals, felons, and repeat immigration law offenders.”
Question
In a single sentence, summarize what this announcement means. Then, state your view: Do you support or oppose Napolitano’s action? Why or why not?
Answer
Responses will vary but should include an accurate summary, the student’s opinion and a defense of the student’s reasoning.
Question
Besides age and residency requirements, what other criteria for deferred action does this policy outline?
Answer
Education status and criminal record.
Question
What are the two main arguments Napolitano makes for why deferred action for young people is the right policy?
Answer
First, that immigration law should be enforced in a sensible way that looks at individual circumstances, particularly in the case of children who may be sent into countries where they have never lived. Second, she argues that by deferring action for this group of young people, the Department of Homeland Security will be better able to prioritize law enforcement that protects Americans from actual threats and danger.
Question
In a single sentence, summarize what this announcement means. Then, construct another sentence that states your view: Do you support or oppose Napolitano’s action? What might an opponent say to you as a counterargument, and how would you refute that argument?
Answer
Responses will vary but should include an accurate summary, the student’s opinion, a possible objection to the student’s opinion and a refutation of that objection.