The PJ Tatler

Gutierrez: DREAM Act Program Like Giving Refuge to Haitian Quake Victims

The chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force compared today’s DREAM Act deferment implementation to Haitian earthquake refugees and said the new rules are necessary to create “symmetry” between immigration status and being American.

“What we’re attempting to do is take about 2 million young people and try to make some symmetry between — they are really much more American than they are immigrant. And today, we’re going to begin the process where their status, their immigration status and reality of their American life and their American being, that there’s symmetry and parity between the two,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said this morning on CNN.

“Look, this has happened before through temporary protection status when there was the earthquake in Haiti. There were thousands of Haitians that applied for temporary protective status. It’s happened before,” he continued. “These programs work. They’re not perfect. But young people are brave and by showing up in line, they are changing and making the process irreversible.”

Illegal immigrant youths began lining up today to apply for deferred enforcement status under the new rules directed by President Obama.

Gutierrez defended that executive action in lieu of Congress not acting swiftly enough on the DREAM Act.

“Across this country today, there is great enthusiasm,” he said. “You will see the lines of young beautiful people. And America will be better because of it. So, I applaud the president’s action.”