New citizens celebrate Flag Day as Obama promises to end youth deportation

Refugee and immigrant community organizers gathered in the country’s most diverse neighborhood, on Wednesday to redefine how Seattleites celebrate Flag Day.

Immigrant rights organization OneAmerica put together the event in a Columbia City park to provide citizenship information, voter registration and other resources to new immigrants and refugees. Organizers said they hoped to revive the marginal holiday, which commemorates the adoption of the U.S. flag, by celebrating its meaning for those who come to the U.S. seeking a new life.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kOjmFV1fmM&w=560&h=315]

Video by Sara Stogner for the Seattle Globalist.

Timing for the Flag Day event was prescient: This morning, the Obama administration announced a major boost to the hopes of some would-be citizens.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a statement that the government would stop pursuing the deportation of young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children. The change in policy only applies to immigrants who fit certain criteria, but will nonetheless effect as many as 800,000 young people. The new policy effectively implements many of the provisions of the DREAM Act, but could easily be reversed by future administrations.

Deportations overall have increased to record highs during Obama’s presidency.

This post was produced with funding from CityClub.

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