Immigration policy change went into effect as part of DREAM act - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

New immigration policy change goes into effect

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

On Wednesday, a new immigration policy change went into effect that could allow more than one-million undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States.

Earlier this summer President Barack Obama issued an executive order as a part of the DREAM Act to allow young illegal immigrants to stay in the United States without facing deportation. The program is open to immigrants ages 15 to 31, who came to the U.S.A. before the age of 16 and have lived here continuously for the last five years. Immigrants also must have no criminal convictions and have a high school GED or currently enrolled in school.

"This is not a path of citizenship, it's not a permanent fix," said President Obama. "This is a temporary stop measure that lets us focus our resources wisely, while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people."

The program that has received criticism from Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney.

"An executive order of course is just a short term matter and can be reversed by subsequent Presidents," said Romney.

In Cincinnati, the Dream Act debate took center stage when a Guatemalan born and Reading High School student, Bernard Pastor faced deportation after failing to provide proper documentation in a traffic accident. Pastor, who has lived in the U.S. Since he was 3 years old fought for his right to stay in America and won. He currently is a student at Xavier University studying theology. 

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