Imagine waking up in the middle of the night, hearing a pounding at the door. For an illegal immigrant in California, that knock could mean an unwanted trip back to his or her native country. This can affect not only adult individuals but also their kids -- the ones they were hoping would experience better lives in America through immigration. Recently, however, hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants have been given the gift of an amnesty lasting two years.
A total of more than 500,000 young people are benefiting from this amnesty program. It's being made possible by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an executive order that aims to give young people a chance to succeed in the United States. According to a recent survey, most young illegals who have been affected by the presidential order have claimed jobs or received their driver's licenses.
In addition, many have been granted credit cards and opened bank accounts. They would not have been able to achieve these goals without valid U.S. identification. The young DACA immigrants make up just a small percentage of the more than 10 million undocumented individuals in the United States today. Many of their parents are still worried about being deported, even though their children are safe from this threat at the moment.
The order issued to protect young people who lack the correct documentation can help these individuals to embark on promising futures. It also can give immigrant parents in California a peace of mind in knowing that their children are being given the best opportunities possible to pursue their dreams. However, because their own fates remain up in the air, it is helpful to stay abreast of any changes in existing immigration law.
Source: The Washington Post, "Young illegal immigrants get two-year ticket to earn, learn and gain self-respect", Pamela Constable, April 6, 2014