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“In an unstable economic environment, we must seek to retain our most vital assets of human capital, who strive to promote and contribute to our country’s improvement and success.Immigrants are an important part of American human resources”

Washington, DC – “I commend President Obama for doing what is right for American immigrant families. It’s a step in the right direction and within the parameters of existing law. It’s the least we can do to recognize the hard working immigrants that contribute so much to our nation’s economy and culture, as Congress continues to debate ways to address immigration reform,” commented Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

Yesterday, the Obama Administration declared that it would “grant an indefinite reprieve to estimated thousands of immigrants facing deportation.” Federal officials from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, which both oversee the immigration courts, will examine each immigrant’s status on a case by case basis in determination of whether they will be deported. This decision will launch an approximate review of nearly 300,000 cases in the nation’s immigration courts – requiring judicial officials to assess the priorities to detain and deport criminals and threats to public safety.

The policy shift will affect less than 3 percent of more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, approximately 1.4 million which are located between the Dallas and Houston areas of Texas. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Ranking Member of the Transportation Security Subcommittee on the House Homeland Security Committee and a senior member on the Immigration Subcommittee on the House Judiciary Committee stated, “This sweeping legislation will provide unification of immigrant families, which would include uniting immigrants with spouses, children or other close family members who are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States who have proven employment records.”

Out of the nearly 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants in the United States, several million are composed of blended families (including both legal and illegal immigrants and U.S. born citizens). Past immigration policy has caused spouses to be separated and millions of children to be separated from their parents – leaving others to help care for the orphaned children. For example, in 2007, an immigrant couple was pulled over for having expired tags on their car and subsequently deported after the police discovered they were illegal immigrants – forcing the couple to leave their 11 year old child in the custody and care of an alternative family member. This new policy is one small victory for proponents of comprehensive immigration reform in the United States Congress.

Congresswoman Jackson Lee is the author of the “Save America Comprehensive Immigration Act of 2009,” a bill that falls directly in line with the goals of the DREAM Act. “This Act seeks to increase our national interest by retaining our young people who may be children of illegal immigrants, in order to become educated and “want only to contribute to this country’s success,” commented Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

“Yesterday’s decision to review each immigrant status on a case by case basis – deporting only those illegal immigrants who pose a threat to our National Security – aide in the retention of our country’s most valuable and scarce resources,” stated Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

Shashrina Thomas- 202-225-3816

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