CT Dreamers Praise Immigration Rule Change

Jun 15, 2012

Today's announcement by the Obama Administration that it will allow certain illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. and have the ability to work without penalty is being embraced by undocumented students in Connecticut.

24-year-old Camila Bortoletto of Danbury has a twin sister. They're like many young people in Connecticut who are high school and college graduates. But getting a job in the profession of their choice has been unattainable. That's because Bortoletto and her sister are here illegally. Their parents brought them to the U.S from Brazil when they were just 9-years old. 

Under the federal immigration rule change, they and other undocumented students will now be able to apply for deferred action. This means they won't have to worry about being deported as long as they came to the U.S. under the age of 16, have lived here for at least five years, and have no criminal record.

Bortoletto says she plans on going to graduate school to pursue her dream of working in environmental research.

"Now that I can get a job, you know, my entire future has just opened up!"

The Bortolettos belong to the group, CT Students for a Dream which advocates for the Dream Act. The federal law would give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship but the measure has failed to pass numerous times in the last ten years.

It's estimated that anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 Connecticut students could benefit from the new immigration policy. According to the Department of Homeland Security, they'll be able to apply for deferred action in the next two months.