Thousands of San Diego immigrants are eager to become a part of the current administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Discussed in depth in our July 6 blog posting, the program would offer temporary work permits to young immigrants who are currently in the country illegally. Although the program does not help immigrants complete the citizenship and naturalization process, it could keep them from being deported and allow them to find work while in the United States.
Some 20,000 young immigrants are expected to file an application in San Diego County alone. Across the country, people are lining up for assistance in filling out the application. Some immigrants have expressed skepticism about the program due to the possibility of a Republican win in the presidential race. They also worry that federal authorities could potentially take a ‘tough approach’ to their applications. However, that skepticism appears to have been overcome by optimism as thousands of people across the country are slated to apply for the program in hopes of gaining employment.
The Department of Homeland Security has estimated that over 1 million immigrants would apply for the program just in the first year. They also believe that nearly a million more are eligible to apply. One student eager to apply told reporters that she is fearful that providing her information could potentially open the door for her relatives to be deported. Although Homeland Security denies they will use this information in such a way, it doesn’t diminish the fear that some younger immigrants have concerning the program. One group in California has been warning people away from the program, stating that in the event of a disbanding of the new policy, ICE could the addresses and other information for everyone who has applied, potentially opening the door for entire families to be deported.
The ability to obtain temporary work permits will provide young people the ability to work legally without fear of deportation. It seems apparent that thousands of San Diego residents are eager to apply in hopes that they will be able to pursue legal employment. In addition, many are also grateful for the opportunity to receive help with the paperwork as well as free legal advice at the workshops offered in the Sand Diego area. As there are a number of important issues to consider, professional advice may help in preserving important legal rights while achieving the desired goal.
Source: KPBS.org, “Young Undocumented Immigrants In San Diego Seek To Avoid Deportation,” Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane, Amita Sharma and Amy Taxin, Aug. 15, 2012