Stop Deporting Students
Eric Balderas, a 19-year old sophomore at Harvard, has lived in the US since he was four years old. He was recently detained and put into deportation proceedings by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials when trying to fly back to Cambridge from his hometown of San Antonio. Eric is one of many young people in the US that would benefit the DREAM Act: a bipartisan proposal that could be considered by Congress as soon as this month.
The DREAM Act would create a pathway to citizenship for students who were brought to the United States years ago as children. The bill works by allowing temporary legal status to undocumented youth who were brought to the US before they were 16, have lived in the US for five years before passage of the law, do not have a criminal record, and either graduate from high school or earn a high school degree. This temporary status will last for six years. If, during that time, the student either completes two years or more of college or serves in the military for two years, they would be eligible to begin a path to citizenship.
Last month another class of 65,000 outstanding, law-abiding high school students graduated without being able to plan for the future, and some — like Eric — could be removed from their homes to countries they barely know.
Update: Eric Balderas was granted "deferred action" by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency on Friday (6/18), which means he is no longer in danger of deportation at the current time, but still faces an uncertain future until the DREAM Act is passed.