U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is praising the president for relaxing deportation efforts against undocumented immigrants who came here as children.Durbin has for more than a decade pushed, without success, for the DREAM Act, which would give these kids a status adjustment an allow them to apply for citizenship. The president’s announcement offers legal status, but not citizenship. Durbin still says that’s OK.

“This is an historic humanitarian moment in American history. It is an opportunity for us to demonstrate to the world the values and caring of a great nation,” he said at a news conference in Chicago.

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To qualify for legal status under this executive order, applicants must:

  Have come to the United States before age 16

  Have lived in the U.S. continuously for at least the last five years

  Be in school, or have graduated from school, or be serving in the military

  Be under 30 years of age

  Not have been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor

The president’s act is an executive order, so it can be changed by future presidents. Durbin was among two dozen senators who requested this executive order. He says the DREAM Act is still needed.

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