Senate Democrats

Reid Statement On Obama Administration Immigration Announcement

Washington, D.C. — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued the following statement today after the Obama Administration announced it would suspend the deportation of young people who were brought to this country illegally through no fault of their own. The directive from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano comes after a yearlong review, and will be applied in a case-by-case basis to young people who came to the United States before age 16, who have resided in the United States continuously for at least five years before today’s date, who have not been convicted of any felony or serious crime, and who are not older than 30 years old. This deferred action is temporary and renewable.

“I congratulate President Obama and Secretary Napolitano for this thoughtful decision that benefits not just the DREAMers and the young people seeking a future in the only country they’ve ever known, but our entire nation as well. These young people were brought here through no fault of their own, and many do not even remember the countries where they were born. When they pledge allegiance, it is to the United States. They belong to this country culturally and linguistically and are American in all but paperwork. These talented individuals want to defend our nation in our military, and contribute to our country through their hard work.

“President Obama’s courageous decision removes the specter of deportation that hovered over these deserving individuals and frees up law enforcement resources to focus on people who are a threat to our public safety and national security. I hope Republicans, especially those who have voiced a willingness to help these young people, will support the Administration’s directive.

“The President can only do so much administratively and this measure is temporary and limited by current law. The onus is now on Congress to permanently fix our broken immigration system, and I call on my Republican colleagues to help us pass the DREAM Act along with comprehensive immigration reform that is tough, fair and practical. We need to secure our borders; hold unscrupulous employers accountable; reform our nation’s legal immigration system; and require the 11 million who are undocumented to register with the government, pay taxes, pay fines, learn English and then go back to the end of the line.”

Note: For more information please go to the Department of Homeland Security at: