A year has passed since the start of the DREAM Act policy called Deferred Action (DACA). DREAMers who have been approved are still facing struggles.
DACA is a policy put in place by the Obama Administration to ensure that young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. at a young age receive protection from deportation.
Deferred Action defers deportation for a period of two years. This means that an undocumented immigrant who qualifies can live without fear of being deported. That is a huge opportunity in itself, but DACA not only stops deportation for a period of two years. It also gives recipients a work permit and a driver’s license.
As of mid-august, USCIS has received 588,725 applications for the program. Only 9,578 applicationshave been denied.
Of course, the program has helped;however, recipients of DACA are still facing frustration because of the program’s limitations.
Because the work permit is only issued for two years, many companies are not interested in hiring them. Yes, DACA can be renewed but companies cannot be sure that a renewal will be certain. Companies fear investing time and resources to train someone who could beineligible for renewal.A DACA recipient is treated as a temporary worker.
Other DACA recipients have trouble finding jobs because of their lack of experience. Many young undocumented immigrants have plenty of experience in various fields, but because they have been paid under the table, they are not able to list references of any kind.
There are also issues surrounding the issuance of driver’s licenses. In Arizona, for example, DACA recipients are still denied driver’s licenses. Not only does this mean they have to walk or use public transportation when job hunting, but they also have to deal with companies skeptical about hiring workers without their own transportation.
These limits further convince supporters that DREAMers really do need immigration reform that would grant them permanent lawful status.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives are currently drafting a dream act bill called the KIDS Act.It would provide legal status to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, also known as dreamers.
The KIDS Act announcement came last week but no details have been released yet.
Though not expected to be like the Dream Act the House Democrats passed in 2010, the KIDS Act will probably include most of the same rules. Dreamers would most likely get legal status if they:
- Came to the U.S. before age 16
- Lived in U.S. for at least five years
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Can demonstrate “good moral character”
Children who were brought to the U.S. as children suffer greatly from being undocumented: they can’t get the jobs they want, can’t apply for driver’s licenses and can’t receive assistance for college tuition.
Not being old enough to make decisions on their own, supporters of dream act legislation believe these undocumented immigrantsshould not be punished for breaking the law and should instead have access to legal status.
The Deferred Action (DACA) program lets recipients remain in the U.S. without having to face deportation for a period of two years. Recipients are granted a work authorization and may apply for a driver’s license.But DACA does not give legal status.
DACA has been in place since August of 2012. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received over 500,000 applications thus far. Only about 20,000 applications have been rejected.
Early estimates stated there were about 2 million childhood arrivals that would be eligible. Some confusion still lingers over exactly what type of immigration status is granted to DACA recipients, and that may be holding people back.
In January, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) clarified that even though DACA does not give legal status, recipients are considered to belawfully present.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Democratic Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (IL) introduced a new bill in Congress yesterday – “the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009” or “CIR ASAP” for short. Mr. Gutierrez, who is chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force, has described the bill as the product of months of collaboration with civil rights advocates, labor organizations, and members of Congress. More than 80 co-sponsors have already signed on to the legislation.
The bill is geared to promote family unification and includes a component relating to the Dream Act. (For those who are not aware, the Dream Act would provide certain undocumented immigrants who graduate from a U.S. high school the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency - the bill is intended to alleviate the hardship faced by children who accompanied undocumented parents into the U.S.) The bill also creates a legalization program for other categories of undocumented immigrants and their spouses and children. In addition, the bill includes provisions calling for enhanced border security, improved detention conditions, increased due process requirements for foreign nationals, and increased employment verification requirements.