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Policy Change Keeps Dream Alive for Young Immigrants

Andrea Smardon

Utah immigrants responded with tears today after the announcement from President Barack Obama that undocumented youth would not be deported and would be given work authorizations. 

Brian Gutierrez works with the Salt Lake Dream team for the passage of the DREAM Act - proposed federal legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who arrived as children. While Obama’s executive order does not provide citizenship, Gutierrez says it’s a victory for immigrants.

“Today, June 15th, 2012 is a day which will live in infamy for dreamers.  Families are crying, parents are crying, children are crying, they’re overcome with joy,” said Gutierrez.

Silvia Salguero is 29 years old.  Her dream is to be a nurse but she’s not able to get training because she is undocumented.

“I’m very pleased because I am a mother and besides being an advocate for my friends, I want to give a future to my children.  It’s just not for me, it’s for all the dreamers,” said Salguero as she wiped away tears.

The Executive Order from the White House applies to those who are under 30 and who arrived in the US before they were 16.  Immigrant advocates estimate that the policy change will affect as many as 8500 people in Utah. 

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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