On Friday, January 6, 2012 President Obama and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced their intent to change United States immigration policy in order to help keep families together during sometimes lengthy reviews of visa applications. This announcement marked an important victory for immigrant families and the broader immigrant rights movement, and it was the result of extensive work done by immigrant rights organizations over the last year. Immigrant advocates have called this change the Family Unity Waiver.
On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced that it would offer many DREAM Act-eligible individuals protection from deportation. These young people, whether or not they are currently in deportation proceedings, will be able to apply for “deferred action,” which would temporarily shield them from deportation and enable to live and work legally in the US. This announcement marked an important victory for DREAM students and the broader immigrant rights movement, and was the result of extensive organizing done by immigrant rights organizations over the last year.