Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
If you remember well, last year, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced the option of allowing certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines to request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization.
While talks about a Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) stall, many young immigrants have found great hope in this option.
A great friend of mine, who is undocumented, for the last 10 years has fought relentlessly for an immigration reform. She has seen many victories won and DACA was one of the more special ones for her. It was a bittersweet victory however; as she knew she did not meet all the requirements. Or so she thought.
One day while visiting an immigration lawyer for a different reason, the question came up as to why she did not qualify for DACA. She explained to the lawyer that she failed to meet such and such requirement so she had moved past that hope. The lawyer disagreed and said that he believed she was wrong, while my friend started getting frustrated about going through this again. The lawyer went into his office for what seemed a very long period of time. My friend had places to go and kept getting frustrated about losing time and energy over this issue.
But the lawyer finally came out and my friend could not believe what she was hearing “You are eligible”. She thought it was a joke, but after reviewing all the jargon and the small print, there was a provision in there that was later added and she had failed to read. Just a couple of lines made her hope real at last.
What I’m trying to say with my friend’s story is that if you think you may qualify, don’t give up and do your research. You may be as surprised as my friend was.
If you already know you qualify, hopefully you have put your plan in motion. If you know you qualify and need some help, please seek it. There is not time like today. Below is a graphic of what you would need to do in case you are unclear. You can also visit the following link, where you can find more information: http://www.uscis.gov/.
While we keep hoping, praying and working for a CIR, we should take all the opportunities we have at our disposal, like DACA. Almost 4,000,000 applications have been accepted, yielding about 155,000 approvals as of January 2013 according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.
Again, if you qualify and have applied, congratulations! If you are still working on it, great! And if you have lost hope, like my friend had, you could check just one more time!