The Struggle for Undocumented Youth

The Struggle for Undocumented Youth

By Robert Valencia

Hundreds of thousand of young undocumented immigrants rejoiced at the news: President Barack Obama’s Government authorized registration for the deferred action plan, which allows them to resolve their immigratory and laboral status for two years. Some of the requirements to qualify for the plan are [1] [es]: applicants must be not more than 31 years old by June the 15th of the current year, they must have arrived to the United States before age 16, have joined school or served in the US Armed Forces.

Once the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made the application forms available, the offices all over the country were packed by the eligible recipients. Navy Pier in Chicago, for example, received 10,000 young people; 5,000 more than expected [2] [es].

However, there is some bad news for some of these DREAMers (called like that because of the DREAM Act [3]) as the Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, challenged The White House to reject the opportunity [4] of almost 80,000 young migrants to apply for public benefits in that state. This is not the first time that Brewer is involved in the middle of an immigration debate. Two years ago she supported the controversial state law SB 1070, which has recently been partially nullified [5] [es] by the Supreme Court for containing elements that led to racial profiling, especially against Hispanics.

Some blogs like Immigration Direct [6] [es] make clear what deferred action really means:

Acción diferida no le dará status legal. Acción diferida puede ser considera como un alivio de ser considerado para deportación. Esto no significa que tendrá status legal temporario porque, aunque sea aprobado para acción diferida, no se le perdona los años que ha pasado en el país ilegalmente. Esto se llama presencia ilegal.

 Deferred action won’t offer legal status. It could be considered as a measure to not being deported. This doesn´t allow you to have a temporary legal status, although is approved for deferred action, the previous illegal years that you lived in the country won’t be forgotten. That is called “unlawful presence.”

Regarding legal matters, the blog Immigration America [7] [es] explains that despite the euphoria
about the measure, the process must be taken very cautiously:

Solo usted puede tomar la decisión de aplicar. No se deje presionar. Obtenga primero todos los detalles. Recuerde, esto es solamente asesoramiento jurídico general. No hace referencia a su caso específico. Para obtener un consejo legal específico, consulte a un abogado de inmigración.

You are the only one to decide wether to apply or not. Don’t let yourself be pressured.First, get all the details. Remember, we just provide general legal advice. It doesn’tmake reference to your specific case. In order to get specific legal advice ask an immigration lawyer.

The reactions on Twitter bursted at once. Especially against Governor Brewer’s measure.
Victor Hugo is a good example:

@victorhugophx [8]: A pesar de la acción diferida, los soñadores reciben una puñalada en la espalda al negarles licencias de conducir en Arizona

@victorhugophx [8]: Despite the diferred action, DREAMers are stabbed in the back, as they are denied to get driving licenses in Arizona.

Eduardo Delgado states that deportations will cease thanks to the Government measure:

@eduardodlgd [9]: Jóvenes ven como la amenaza de una deportación queda en el pasado

@eduardodlgd [9]: Young people see how deportation threat remains in the past.

The Representative of Illinois, Luis V. Gutierrez (@LuisGutierrez [10]), who defended the DREAMers cause, celebrates the measure:

@LuisGutierrez [10]: #DREAMers, you’re probably more “American” than “immigrant.” Let’s have the paperwork catch up with reality:  #DACA

@LuisGutierrez [10]: #DREAMers, son probablemente más “estadounidenses” que “inmigrantes”. Hagamos que el tramite esté a la altura de la realidad.

However, some others like David Bennion, met the benefits of deferred action with scepticism:

@dcbennion [11]: Cautious optimism on #deferredaction for #undocumented youth #DACA #unexpected

@dcbennion [11]: Cauteloso optimismo sobre la acción diferida para jóvenes indocumentados #inesperado.

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