Petition Closed
Petitioning Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano

Secretary Napolitano: Right a wrong & extend Deferred Action to deserving young immigrants


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), announced last summer by President Obama, prevents unjust and unnecessary deportation of hundreds of thousands of young people from the United States. It has been a lifeline for hardworking young immigrants brought to this country as children, enabling them to get an education, secure legal employment and safely emerge from the shadows. Sadly, young people from Haiti and certain other countries are being denied the same opportunity, simply because of a technicality in the DACA policy.

The problem: Under DACA, an applicant must have been out of immigration status on June 15, 2012, the day President Obama announced the new policy. This excludes young immigrants who on that day had Temporary Protected Status (TPS). One can gain TPS when the US government designates their home country as temporarily unsafe, as was Haiti after the devastating earthquake. As soon as the circumstances that caused the announcement of TPS for the country cease to exist, TPS can be terminated, leaving those who had TPS benefits subject to removal.

The reality: Many people with TPS share the same characteristics as DACA-eligible youth: they were brought to the US at an early age, have been living in the US for many years, and have attended schools and colleges here. If not for their TPS, they would be eligible for DACA. Under the current policy, however, when TPS is terminated for their home countries, these young immigrants will lose status and find themselves without recourse. And because they are known to the Department of Homeland Security due to their TPS applications, they will be at heightened risk of removal.

The solution: It is time to right this wrong and allow immigrant youths with Temporary Protected Status to apply for DACA.

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Letter to
Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), announced last summer by President Obama, prevents unjust and unnecessary deportation of hundreds of thousands of young people from the United States. It has been a lifeline for hardworking young immigrants brought to this country as children, enabling them to get an education, secure legal employment and safely emerge from the shadows. Sadly, young people from Haiti and certain other countries are being denied the same opportunity, simply because of a technicality in the DACA policy.

Under DACA, an applicant must have been out of immigration status on June 15, 2012, the day President Obama announced the new policy. This excludes young immigrants who on that day had Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to the fact that the US government had designated their home country as temporarily unsafe, as was Haiti after the devastating earthquake. As soon as the circumstances that caused the announcement of TPS for the country cease to exist, TPS can be terminated, leaving those who had TPS benefits subject to removal. I now urge you to extend DACA to young immigrants who held Temporary Protected Status (TPS) on June 15, 2012.

Many people with TPS share the same characteristics as DACA-eligible youth: they were brought to the US at an early age, have been living in the US for many years, and have attended schools and colleges here. If not for their TPS, they would be eligible for DACA. Under the current policy, however, when TPS is terminated for their home countries, these young immigrants will lose status and find themselves without recourse. And because they are known to the Department of Homeland Security due to their TPS applications, they will be at heightened risk of removal.

I believe it is fair and just to allow immigrant youth holding TPS to apply for DACA, either as an alternative to their TPS, or as soon as their TPS expires, if otherwise eligible. The humanitarian concerns that underlie the extension of DACA to immigrant youth apply to youth with TPS as well. It is time to right this wrong and allow immigrants youths with Temporary Protected Status to apply for DACA.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your response.