Jewish groups praise deportation deferment

A number of Jewish organizations praised President Barack Obama for new requirements that defer the deportation of young illegal immigrants.

The requirements are for people younger than 30 who came to the U.S. before age 16, who pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military.

These immigrants are now able to apply for two-year deferrals of deportation. If approved, those who meet the requirements will be able to apply for work permits in the U.S.

“This is a major success for advocates around the country, including many from the Jewish community, who have been pressuring the administration and Congress to take action on this issue for over a decade,” said Mark Hetfield, interim president and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which has spoken out publicly in support of the Dream Act, a similar measure defeated in Congress in 2010.

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the National Council of Jewish Women and the Anti-Defamation League were among other leading Jewish organizations praising the move. — jta