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US: “Dreamers” celebrate future head of National Security

Young immigrants to the United States on Monday celebrated the news that a Cuban-American who helped develop a popular immigration relief program for them will be the new head of that country’s Department of Homeland Security.

More than 700,000 young people in the United States benefit from this program, known as DACA for its acronym in English. The team of US President-elect Democrat Joe Biden announced Monday that Cuban-born Alejandro Mayorkas, who helped develop DACA, will be the first Hispanic and first immigrant to head the Department of Homeland Security.

“(Mayorkas) came to the United States as a refugee. His family left his country so that he could have better opportunities here, just like our families, ”said Martín Batalla, a Mexican who his parents took to the United States when he was seven years old. “I think he (Mayorkas) can feel identified with us.”

The immigration relief program, which took effect in 2012, temporarily suspended deportation and granted work permits to young people who had been illegally brought to the United States by family members as children.

President Donald Trump ended the program in 2017. Activists and immigrant youth battled that decision in court. The United States Supreme Court ruled in June 2020 that the Trump administration improperly terminated the program.

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