FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 4, 2012

media@theniya.org
704.281.9911

NIYA Demands Executive Order to Stop Deportations of DREAM Act-eligible Youth

Prosecutorial discretion has failed—deportations of DREAMers continue

DENVER—The National Immigrant Youth Alliance is calling for the President to issue an executive order to stop the deportation of DREAM Act-eligible youth. We simply cannot continue to allow our lives to be held up by petty partisanship and congressional gridlock.

We need the strength of an executive order to stop our deportations. Prosecutorial discretion has not stopped them; NIYA has continued to fight tooth and nail for many young people who meet the criteria to have their cases administratively closed under the June 17 Morton Memo. At present, NIYA is fighting over 30 active cases that meet these criteria.

Many cases move forward into removal proceedings simply because ICE field offices disregard prosecutorial discretion. ICE agents are not under any obligation from their superiors to do otherwise. Even in Denver, Colorado, where the field office is participating in a pilot program for prosecutorial discretion, ICE agents denied Hugo Zarate’s request for deferred action, even though he is DREAM Act-eligible and suffers from rheumatic fever.

We have lost hope for immigration reform during the current period of congressional gridlock. As well, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has continued to expand programs like Secure Communities and 287(g) and deportation levels remain at record levels.

We hope that our call for an executive order has not fallen on deaf ears in the White House. If the Administration does not issue an executive order, we will be forced to respond with direct action in the coming days. The administration, by not taking action by means fully within its power, keeps our lives on hold. That position, for us, is no longer acceptable.

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The National Immigrant Youth Alliance is an undocumented youth-led network committed to achieving equality for all undocumented youth. We have member organizations in Alabama, California, Colorado, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington and have relationships with activists throughout the entire country. We are the only independent national organization of undocumented youth. Through advocacy, grassroots organizing, direct action and civil disobedience, we will develop a sustainable movement for justice and equality led by those most affected and supported by committed, conscientious allies.

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