Dreamers Out in Droves For 2-Year Anniversary of DACA

Categories: Immigration

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Gulbenk
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was implemented you years ago to benefit young adult immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

A line of people was snaking around the back of the office building by the time Catholic Charities staff rolled in at 7 on Saturday morning. Most were teenagers and young adults accompanied by their families. Several were alone, here to solve their substantial legal troubles on their own. Some clutched folders filled with birth certificates, passports, and other documents that measure a person's life. Some were empty-handed.

Friday marked the two-year anniversary of the implementation of President Obama's executive order, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, otherwise known as DACA. The move was intended to act as a quick fix for upstanding young adults who had been illegally brought to the United States as children, allowing them to access certain legal benefits: A Social Security number. Deferred deportation. A driver's license. Establish credit.

Of more than 900,000 eligible beneficiaries nationwide, around 500,000 have submitted DACA applications in the past two years. Catholic Charities held a statewide DACA counseling day on Saturday in which they offered legal services, live-chatting, video conferences, and application assistance to encourage potential DACA beneficiaries to apply, and help renewal applicants with the process.

Jessica Barron, a DREAMer set to renew her DACA status was among them. Barron was brought to the United States from San Luis Potosí when she was 2 years old. Neither of her parents attended high school and wanted education and economic opportunities for their kids that were not available in Mexico. They had applied for a visa to come to the United States legally, but were denied.

"It's easy for people to say, well why don't you just come here the legal way? But the lines are so long, it takes several years," says Barron. "People always want to take the legal way. Any immigrant in this country would do whatever it takes to have that peace of mind where you can live freely in this country. But the options aren't there. There's just so many things that are beyond a reasonable time frame, and that's the biggest frustration."

Now, Barron is months away from completing her undergraduate degree in criminal justice from the University of North Texas. She hopes to go to law school to study immigration law, but will likely be unable to practice until she can earn citizenship. Nevertheless, she says the DACA program has helped her progress in countless ways and has given her the peace of mind to continue with her education.

Accessing these benefits doesn't come cheaply. The fee is $465 for first-time applicants plus an additional $465 to renew every two years. And for college kids like Barron, that's no small financial contribution. She has tuition due in a week, but says that paying for her DACA renewal is just as important.

"Without DACA right now I'd be still in school, but still not knowing if I'd ever be able to graduate from college and actually get a job under my degree," says Barron. "I was feeling frustrated and somewhat discouraged in the fact that I'd have worked so hard for a degree but not knowing if I'd ever be able to make use of it. And now I know that all that struggle and all that sacrifice is finally paying off and it can continue to pay off."

Liz Cedillo is an immigration attorney who helped organize the statewide DACA day. She says that while DACA is a good bandage to the obstacles faced by young immigrants, it's temporary. "DACA is not a permanent solution to the legislative fixes we need. It's sort of a stopgap measure," she says.

"It allows this population, millennials, to move forward. Otherwise they're stuck, stuck to where they can't get a job where they can provide a Social Security [number], can't go on to get scholarships, can't go to college. So it's really a game changer for so many youths out there who are just wanting to be a contributor in their own way."

DACA is renewed every two years, which means that this year's batch of DACA holders will be slated for renewal again in 2016. But many still live with the question mark of what happens in the meantime, whether or not national immigration reform is passed, whether or not DACA will still be around in two years.

"Many of them live with these questions, because what does happen at that renewal stage? Am I going to be able to apply, am I going to be able to stay? Am I giving information to the government that will be used against me at a later date? That's a major fear factor," says Cedillo. "All these hard, hard issues are placed on young people. As an adult, we're thinking, should we really make it that hard for a young person to thrive and succeed?"


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26 comments
pak152
pak152

a different point of view

"My desire to come to the United States was born out of ambition, not desperation. I stood in every line there was, beginning at the U.S. Embassy in my native India and then here, filled out every form that needed to be filled out, and made copies and certified copies of all the documents that were needed to prove that I was who I said I was.

At every point I was warned that if I lied or falsified information or tried to find work other than the job I was authorized to do in the U.S. there would be serious consequences. In particular I was warned about the rather grave repercussions if I chose to stay here illegally."
http://online.wsj.com/articles/manmeet-singh-lament-of-a-legal-alien-1407799256

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

They should be afraid.  Obama went for the cheap and easy EO, which means that it expires when his term does. 


He doesn't want a law.  He wants a fickle fiat that requires Latinos to keep voting Democrat.  They are his hostages.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps 

executive orders do not "expire". they can be removed by the next president, they can be reversed by a vote of Congress, and they can be overturned by the Court. but until something is acted upon by someone the EO remains in place.

of course, the Latinos could have just waited for Congress to act instead of Obama acting....that's a good joke BTW, because the republicans in Congress will likely never EVER allow an act such as this to become law.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@bvckvs @everlastingphelps The republican position is that immigration doesn't need reforming, it just needs enforcing of the current laws.


Obama claims that immigration needs reform.  Therefore, the obligation is on Obama to convince Republicans (or at least enough of a minority of Republicans to pass it, a much lower standard that he still can't muster) to get on the bus.

ColonelAngus
ColonelAngus

@mavdog @everlastingphelps  And presuming the GOP wins the WH next time, whatever Dole/Mccain/Romney type they nominate will never reverse the EO.  It will not happen.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog @everlastingphelps Ahh, yes, another "correction" of yours of a difference that doesn't make a difference.  Latinos are held hostage -- vote Democrat, or the Republican pulls down the EO.


And you would agree that if there isn't the political will to pass a law, something should not have the power of law, wouldn't you?  Isn't it the job of a president to enforce the laws passed by the legislature and signed by the executive?

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

another "correction" of yours of a difference that doesn't make a difference. .

yes, the "correction" is to show that your comment was wrong, so yes it does make a difference.

Latinos are held hostage -- vote Democrat, or the Republican pulls down the EO

have you forgotten the Republicans who support the DREAM Act? yes Virginia, there are some Republicans who have a sense of right. They might even be elected as President...

And you would agree that if there isn't the political will to pass a law, something should not have the power of law, wouldn't you? Isn't it the job of a president to enforce the laws passed by the legislature and signed by the executive?

no, I don't agree, Obstructionism is not a defense nor a reason, and one of the "job[s] of a President" is to head the Executive Branch of our government in the best way possible.

dingo
dingo

@everlastingphelps @ColonelAngus @mavdog 

But you did say expire instead of removed, so we still have to assign two demerits to your permanent record. Rack up enough demerits and you don't get free sprinkles at Burger Doodle.

ColonelAngus
ColonelAngus

@everlastingphelps @ColonelAngus @mavdog  Of course his successor SHOULD rescind it, for many good reasons not the least of which is to restore the rule of law and separation of powers.  But due to the political realities I would wager that it will not happen.  Maybe a little tinkering around the edges, not much more.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@mavdog @everlastingphelps I have to disagree with you, the job of the President is to carry out and enforce the laws passed by Congress.  When you start adding a bunch of 'one of the jobs...' to the executive branch, you get a whole bunch of regulatory agencies with de facto power to make and create laws and punishments, without any regard for the will of the people or the Constitution itself.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog @everlastingphelps no, I don't agree, Obstructionism is not a defense nor a reason, and one of the "job[s] of a President" is to head the Executive Branch of our government in the best way possible.


You oppose a constitutional republic, and prefer a fascist dictatorship.  Well, at least you keep your treason in the front window for everyone to see.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@RTGolden1 

That is one of the duties of the Office, and to be in charge of the Executive Branch as they see fit.

The Constitution grants the President the ability to run the Federal Government per se, and to mandate policy of the Departments (the Executive Order right is not explicit but implicit).

Congress contros the purse, they can force conduct on a Dept. in that manner, and can override any directive of the President should they see fit to do such.

That is how the Constituion calls for it. They call it "3 branches of government" for a reason...

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps 

very odd (and revealing btw) that you choose to ignore the checks and balances that exist and were pointed out above.

"a fascist dictatorship". "treason". that's really funny!

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@mavdog @RTGolden1 I'm trying hard to see this from the direction you're presenting it, but it isn't making any sense.  Simply put: Congress: passes laws; Courts: Interpret laws; Executive: carries out laws.

When the Executive issues an order that carries the force of law, that is usurping the checks and balances.  Same thing when a Department issues a regulation that carries the force of law.  The Executive branch should come under extremely close scrutiny whenever it is issuing decrees that can affect the lives of everyone in the nation.  Every EO and every Dept regulation should have to stand up to judicial review with the strictest and most limiting interpretation of the Constitution possible.

"Any man who will sacrifice a little freedom to gain a measure of security, is deserving of neither."  --Ben Franklin.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog @everlastingphelps Bullshit.  You threw out the checks and balances.  You called checks and balances "Obstructionism" and called a dictatorship "government in the best way possible."


Everyone can read what you said, you fucking fascist.  If you don't want to be called a fucking fascist, stop thinking and writing like a fucking fascist.  Your fascist won't always be in power.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everylastingphelps

My my, you certainly don't need to go off just because you have been proven to not understand the functioning of the federal government. Resorting to blatant lies? Lack of a coherent argument? Just admit you are wrong and move on.

Let's see, first you fail to understand the subject of "obstructionism", which is easy....the republicans who refuse to address the immigration issue. And "dictatorship"? By whom? That is in your own mind, which as the saying goes is a terrible thing to waste...and boy, are you wasting it! Or are you wasted? IDK, one or the other.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog Obstructionism is just a fascist's way of complaining about republicanism working the way it was intended.  When you can't convince the majority of the legislature to do something, the state shouldn't do it.  That is how it works in representative government.


When one man can just "decide" that the legislature (and we are indeed talking about the entire legislature, because it acts as a body) is "obstructing" and ignore the laws that they are passing?  That is a dictatorship, pure and simple.


Go ahead, embrace fascism.  It's where socialism always leads.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps 

You really should learn the definition of a "fascist", for your misuse of the term is obvious.

"representitive government". yes, the public election of officeholders...like the President.

The Legislature can "pass" laws that bind the President, or (as I pointed out and you ignore) override the President. Guess what? They haven't in this case. Should they choose to do so, the President will have to comply, or he can be tried for failure to carry out his duties.

That is the way our Constitution calls for it, and it is striking that you advocate disobeyance of the Constitution.

Why do you hate our structure of government so much?

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog @everlastingphelps The Legislature can "pass" laws that bind the President, or (as I pointed out and you ignore) override the President. Guess what? They haven't in this case. Should they choose to do so, the President will have to comply, or he can be tried for failure to carry out his duties.


How many times do you think Congress has to pass a law before the President "will have to comply"?  Because they've already passed plenty of immigration laws that he is refusing to enforce.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

How many times do you think Congress has to pass a law before the President "will have to comply"? Because they've already passed plenty of immigration laws that he is refusing to enforce.

They haven't passed a single law that binds the President to a specific policy in this regard. Immigration law focuses on individuals, the prohibited conduct, and the penalties should an individual act in a prohibited way.

don't I recall you claim to be involved with law in some regard? very evident you don't understand much about law.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog @everlastingphelps Wait, your insane theory is that Congress has to pass a law that tells Obama that he has to follow the law?


Great, we have that.  US Constitution, Article II, Section 3:


"he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed"


Congress passed it in 1787.  Tell his lazy ass to get to work.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps 

Your point would have some credibility if you can show where DACA contradicts or does not "follow the law".....but DACA does neither.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog @everlastingphelps First, DACA doesn't follow the law in that it has been defunded.  So, just running the program is essentially embezzlement.  


Second, it violates 8 USC 1225.  There is no prosecutorial discretion allowed -- the statute says "shall", not "may."

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