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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 21 October, 2019

US to stop deporting young illegal immigrants

Deferred action can be grated if applicants meet certain criteria and do not post a threat to US national security.

Image: AP Photo/Ariel Schalit/PA

THE US IS TO STOP deporting illegal immigrants under 30 years of age who entered the country as children and who do not pose a security threat.

The plan takes immediate effect and could affect up to 800,000 people.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that the young immigrants who meet the relevant criteria will be “eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorisation”.

Napolitano said that while immigration laws “must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner”, they are not designed to be “blindly enforced” without taking individual circumstances into account.

“Nor are they designed to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language,” she added.

Among the criteria released by Napolitano’s department today, anyone applying under the new directive must be below 30 and have entered the US when they were under 16. They must also be able to prove that they have continuously resided in the US for the past five years and have not been confident of a felony, significant demeanour ”or otherwise post a threat to national security”.

Deferred action will be determined on a case by case basis.

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