We have discussed the DREAM Act previously — it is a federal law (with a California equivalent) that, if passed, would enable people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as minors and attended school in the country to obtain residency. Other conditions apply to the law, such as showing good moral character. One young man’s recent protest of the U.S. immigration policy is putting a spotlight on the DREAM Act.
His detainment and possible deportation all stems from a simple act — the 24-year-old walked into an immigration committee meeting and admitted he was not a legal U.S. citizen. He was arrested and, in protest, went on a hunger strike for 10 days. He is now threatened with deportation because he has a criminal background that consists of driving violations.
The 24-year-old’s plight has drawn national attention and an online campaign to save the man from deportation has spread quickly. He is a native of Mexico, but as a 7-year-old his parents brought him into the U.S. illegally.
What is to become of this 24-year-old who sits in limbo? Immigration officials are under orders to focus on the deportation of illegal immigrants who have criminal backgrounds — both are conditions that the 24-year-old meets.
However, the young man does have a 2-year-old son and he has been in the country for an extensive amount of time. When ruling on deportation cases, a federal judge will consider immediate children, good moral character and the length of time already spent in the U.S. before deciding to hand down the ultimate decision of deportation.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Dream Act: Jailed illegal immigrant becomes N.C. rallying point,” David Zucchino, Mar. 13, 2012