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Statement of Mary Meg McCarthy, Executive Director, Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center

Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) celebrates the Obama administration’s announcement that it will grant deferred action to DREAM Act-eligible immigrants. We applaud the courageous youth who have fought for years to convince the president that he can use his executive power to protect immigrants who were raised in the United States and are contributing to our society. Today, immigrant families have a renewed sense of dignity.

NIJC is committed to holding the administration accountable to ensure the initiative announced today by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is implemented fairly and effectively.

Today’s announcement does not fully repair our country’s dysfunctional immigration system, but we hope it is a signal that our government recognizes the contributions of immigrants. President Obama honors our history as a nation of immigrants with today’s announcement – we call on Congress to do the same and pass fair immigration reform that creates a humane system for all.