There is still light in so much darkness. At this time, it is best to know what you can and should do.
The president of the United States has stopped the program that protects and allows dreamers to stay in the country, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
What is DACA? What is its importance?
DACA is an immigration program for those undocumented who came to the US during their childhood. It represented the American dream incarnate, which is why the beneficiaries, mainly young people, are called dreamers.
This program was granted to those who had come to the USA under 16 years of age. They were required to study and not have a criminal record. In exchange, they were allowed to study, work, have a driver's license, as well as access to social security and have a credit card.
However, this did not represent a residency status. Although it offered protection and the possibility of having a life without so many worries, or at least with the security of not being deported.
What Changed In The New Immigration Laws?
As of this September 5, no new applications for DACA can be submitted. This is because Trump decided to suspend this program.
Dreamers who already had a DACA permit, which expires on March 5, 2018, will be able to apply for a two-year renewal. But they have a maximum date to complete the process until October 5.
Otherwise for dreamers whose permits expire after March 5, 2018, as they will only be able to continue working until their work permit ends.
This means that undocumented youth will lose protection. No details are yet given of what will happen, if they will be deported or there will be any law that perpetuates their permanence or at least their safety.
A Light Of Hope
Naturally, Trump's action was not well received by many, as it represents cruelty for 800,000 young people who were brought by their parents and grew up in the USA without knowing another culture or having another identity than the American one.
These young people built a future in this nation and they deserve the opportunity to stay here. Even Telemundo has commented that eliminating DACA will only result in the loss of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of economic growth in the next decade.
This is where there is hope, as Trump asked Congress to seek a legislative solution in the next six months.
Now it's up to us to take action!
What can and should you do?
Believe it or not, these little details and community actions are what make all the difference!
Contact the following organizations in Arizona to make the change you are looking for. Don't wait for someone else to do it. This requires your effort, so approach these groups or organizations and see how you can help them: The Arizona Dream Act Coalition, Breath, Center for Neighborhood Leadership, FIGHT, My Family Votes, Undocumented Students for Education Equity.
Write and Call
Put your political representatives to work. Send them emails and calls to let them know why you don't agree with the decision and what they should do about it.
What to say
Start with this:
Hello, my name is ________ and I am calling as a member of the [name of representative] community because I want to protect DACA.
DACA has helped 800,000 young people excel in America by protecting them from deportation. Every young person should feel safe and secure in this country regardless of gender, race, age, religion, sexual orientation, or immigration status.
What is [name of representative] doing to protect DACA? The future of thousands of young people is at stake.
Express yourself on social media
Join the thousands of people who are expressing their disgust towards the president and representatives. Find the following people on Facebook and Twitter:
Alternatives to DACA
The processes to obtain legal status in the USA are complex. The wait can be long and the benefits few, but there are other alternatives that I will summarize right away. See what might be of use to you and spread the word.
Pros: This is the best known and offers a path to citizenship. Starting with Conditional Permanent Residence. Years in DACA would count toward the full process, which would take 13 years.
Cons: It does not yet exist as a law or in previous instances. It just hasn't happened. Trump says, "Our country and our political forces are not ready," which doesn't offer much hope.
- Have no serious crimes in your name
- Not having left the USA
Any of these requirements:
- Have a university diploma
- Have a bachelors degree
- Serve in the military for more than two years
- Work 75% of the time, for more than three years
- Ability to speak, write and read English and understand US civil laws
In addition to the Dream Act, you should know that there are other immigration laws that you can take advantage of. Such is the case of the EB-5 VISA, which is also known sympathetically as the "$500,000 Green Card." Offer a path to legal residency by investing half a million dollars in a project that promises to create jobs for Americans. Its defenders say it creates thousands of jobs annually, its critics say that it is technically "buying" a visa, and that it could be used for fraud, money laundering and other crimes.
The UVISA is a visa to protect crime victims and their families, by assisting in the investigation and prosecution of the guilty without fear of deportation. It can take more than a year to be processed, but after being approved, they can apply for Permanent Residence.
It is specific to victims of exploitation, sexual or labor crimes that include prostitution, slavery, and pornography. It allows protection and many people benefit from it. Consult an attorney for all the benefits.
Residence For Children
Many still think that children can help them with the legal process when they turn 21, which is not so easy. They may have to apply from their countries, which is difficult and can take many years. Also, if they entered the US without the necessary documentation, there are also many problems. It is important to consult an attorney.
Residence By Marriage
It is perhaps the simplest way, as it only requires the standard marriage procedures and evidence that the relationship is true. The process is complicated if the legal adjustment has to do with the undocumented crossing of the person requesting the benefits. A lawyer can offer you more security in these cases.
The new executive order could affect thousands of international employees and students: Trump Threatens To Limit H-1B Visa