Aug 16 2012

Erick Huerta on Undocumented Youth Applying for “Deferred Action”

Tens of thousands of undocumented youths lined up around the country yesterday to apply for a program called The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program which President Barack Obama signed into policy on June 15. The program allows for undocumented immigrants between the ages of 15 and 31 who arrived in the United States before the age of 16 to avoid deportation and legally work in the country. The government has estimated that about 1.7 million undocumented immigrants will apply for the program which requires a $465 application fee per person. In addition to the steep fee, undocumented youth must be enrolled in or have graduated from high school, or be honorably discharged from the military and be free of any criminal charges including misdemeanors. Once having applied to the program applicants must re-register with the federal government every two years to maintain their status.

Some critics have voiced concerns about the bi-annual registration program which allows the federal government to have access to information about undocumented family members. And, while applicants would be given work permits, they would not be considered citizens and not be given the right to vote.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program is a much-watered down version of the original DREAM Act which would have given permanent residency to young undocumented immigrants.

On August 16, 2012, Uprising host Sonali Kolhatkar spoke with Erick Huerta, a student activist, and coordinator of Dream Team Los Angeles’ communications.

Watch a video of the interview here:

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This interview was recorded by Bipasha Shom

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