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New immigration initiative inspires undocumented Americans to DREAM

Ashleyanne Krigbaum

This morning, thousands of young undocumented immigrants became eligible for temporary legal status due to the implementation of President Obama's policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which is considered the most expansive immigration policy to take effect in the past 25 years. The federal initiative grants access to work permits and temporary protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. They call themselves “DREAMers,” and local journalist Matt O’Brien has been following the progression of Obama's immigration initiative closely for the Bay Area News Group. He spoke earlier today about the significance of the new policy with KALW’s Martina Castro.

MATT O'BRIEN: Because this is an administrative policy, it cannot grant permanent legal residency – what we know as green cards or citizenship. Or, a path to citizenship benefits – that has to come from Congress. And the DREAM Act, which was first proposed eleven years ago, would have granted probably the same group of people more permanent benefits like legal residency and a path to citizenship five years after you get a green card.

Listen to the full interview above.