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In the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on Arizona's SB 1070 and the Obama administration's announcement that it won't deport many young illegal immigrants, U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva will hold a series of meetings to detail the new immigration enforcement policies.
The forums, set for Phoenix, Tucson and Somerton/San Luis, just south of Yuma, will include legal experts, religious and community leaders, and students who would be covered under the DREAM Act, Grijalva said in a news release Wednesday.
"President Obama's new policy is an important step toward ending our senseless punishment of young people who find themselves without legal status through no fault of their own," Grijalva said.
"Millions of students across the United States who have done everything right – studied hard, worked hard, and stayed out of trouble – continue to face the threat of deportation from their homes to countries they may never even have visited. President Obama's policy change puts the American dream within reach of these deserving students. I'm committed to making every resource available to DREAM Act-eligible students during this process, and I hope to see them and their families at these forums."
The Phoenix forum will be held Saturday, while the Tucson meeting is set for Monday, and the forum in Somerton will be next Tuesday, July 3. The events will be free and open to the public.
Before the Supreme Court decision, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would defer deportation proceedings and grant work permits to illegal immigrants on a case-by-case basis. Those covered by the policy change must fit these criteria:
- Have come to the United States before the age of 16
- Have resided continuously in the United States prior to June 15 and be present in the country on that date
- Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have a GED certificate or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or U.S. armed forces
- 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"
- Are not above the age of thirty
TucsonSentinel.com's original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.