There has been a sharp drop in attendance for a deportation waiver class in San Diego that is designed for children and young adults of undocumented immigrants. This program is designed to give the young children of these immigrants the chance at obtaining a temporary waiver from deportation. This immigration class has been slightly controversial from the beginning and has seen lower attendance than originally anticipated.
The workshop has a minimum age of 15 for applicants, thereby excluding a number of other young adults and youth who would otherwise be eligible. It also requires either a high school diploma or the GED equivalent. There have been an estimated half million applicants, but the Migration Policy Institute estimates that there are almost two million youth who are eligible or almost eligible for the program.
There has been a drop in applications for the waivers, as well as in the actual attendees for the workshops offered by Alliance San Diego. There is some concern that those would could benefit from the program are not applying for reasons that could prove unwise. There is a sense of waiting as this community is hoping for widespread immigration reform to be passed at the federal level.
After the election in November, there was a dramatic drop-off in applications with the re-election of President Obama. There was fear in the immigrant community that Mitt Romney would have done away with many immigration programs, including ones like this. Supporters are encouraging youth to apply despite the obstacles of becoming eligible for this program. It could be worth it in the event that immigration reform does not pass.
The application fee is steep at almost $500 per applicant. Programs like this one in San Diego are beneficial for children of immigration because it would add a layer of protection independent of immigration reform. The benefits of participating in this program would most likely outweigh any argument against it.
Source: utsandiego.com, “Slowdown seen in deportation-waiver program Page 1 of 2,” Elizabeth Aguilera, April 14, 2013