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Dreamers Set To Meet With Homeland Security Secretary On Deportations

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Lorella Praeli will be among the United We Dream members meeting with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Lorella Praeli will be among the United We Dream members meeting with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON -- Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will meet Wednesday afternoon with a group led by young undocumented immigrants to hear their proposals for suspending deportations. Johnson has been on something of a listening tour as the Obama administration considers bypassing Congress to make changes to immigration policy.

He will talk with seven members of United We Dream, the group told HuffPost. Lorella Praeli, director of policy and advocacy at the group -- which is run by Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children -- requested the meeting earlier this year.

The administration is looking at ways to change its deportation policies to make them more, in its words, humane. Republicans in Congress have already begun to warn the administration that they would consider any such executive-branch changes a threat to the constitutional system.

United We Dream members plan to share immigrants' stories and to pitch five proposals, laid out in a document released in late April. Among them: ensuring more Dreamers can receive reprieves under the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and extending deferred action to people with extensive family or community ties to the U.S. United We Dream also proposes creating a humanitarian relief program for already deported immigrants with family in the U.S. and limiting immigrant detention.

Praeli wrote in April that those proposals are meant to reflect the top priorities of Dreamers, but that they also support ideas put forward by other groups.

"These proposals serve as our movement’s top five demands for meaningful administrative reforms that protect family unity and the rights of young people," she wrote. "However, we stand in solidarity with the many branches of the immigrant rights movement that continue to advocate for greater accountability at the border, ending programs that engage state and local police in immigration enforcement and criminalize our community, and greater civil rights and workers’ rights protections in immigration enforcement, and others."

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