DREAMers, Here Illegally, Are ‘Our Most Talented Young People,’ Says Colo. Dem

By Taylor Knopf | June 11, 2013 | 10:51am EDT

In this June 15, 2012 file photo, young undocumented immigrants rally outside the White House in support of the president's announcement that the U.S. government will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) says he voted against a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill last week because it includes a Republican amendment barring DHS from providing young illegal aliens with deferred deportation and work permits.

Polis said the amendment, introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), calls into question “the ability of our government to help our most talented young people, who consider the United States home and contribute to our country.

“While we still need to pass comprehensive immigration reform to provide a pathway to citizenship to young people and other immigrants currently living in the shadows, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a small but important program to help some of our best and brightest make this country a better place,” Polis added.

King’s amendment would bar funding for any attempt by the Obama administration to implement amnesty by executive decree.  Over the past two years, President Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and ICE Director John Morton have attempted to enact de facto amnesty through prosecutorial discretion, deferred action, and lax enforcement policies, King noted.

The King amendment passed on a vote of 224-201, and the overall appropriations bill passed 245-182.

In a June 6 op-ed, King wrote that granting citizenship to undocumented immigrants “will only expand our bloated welfare state,” adding that the goal of immigration policy should be to enhance the American economy.

“On a planet of 7 billion people, millions would sacrifice a great deal for an opportunity to succeed at the American Dream. We cannot accept them all,” King wrote. “Many open-borders advocates see the United States as a lifeboat saving people from poverty. Overloaded lifeboats sink. Ours is taking on water now.”

Polis, on the other hands, says he’s proud that his office has helped hundreds of DREAMers with their applications for deferred action and said he will continue to help them: “As always, I continue to urge young people who are eligible for this program to apply for deferred action.”

Under a memo issued one year ago by Napolitano, certain young people brought to the United States illegally by their foreign parents (DREAMers) will not have to live under the constant threat of deportation.

To be eligible for deferred deportation, DREAMers must have come to the U.S. before the age of 16, not be older than 30, have lived here continuously for a least five years, currently be in school, have graduated from high school or have been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces of the U.S.; and have no felony or “significant misdemeanor’ offenses or pose a threat to national security.

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