The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals:
Progress for Undocumented Students in the United States
AP English Language and Composition
On June 15, 2012, President Barak Obama gave a brief speech on a new Department of Homeland Security Immigration policy. This new policy will benefit thousands of undocumented students living here in the United States that were brought by their parents since they were young children from their native home. A policy called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. As President Obama mentioned in his speech about what undocumented students are, he mentioned part of a sentence that got to me. President Obama stated the following, “They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one, on paper” (Obama). This is very true in my point of view, as I have realized exactly just that growing up. As a young girl, I was never told whether or not I was documented or not; whether I was a citizen of where I was growing up or I wasn’t. I was never worried about my legal status in the United States. My main focus has always been school and progressing to be a well-educated citizen that is part of the United States. That’s how I see myself as, as of today; a citizen of the United States, perhaps not in paper, but in heart. This is the place where I have been raised since the age of two, till today at the age of 17 even knowing that I am undocumented. I love the fact knowing I’m Mexican and will always be by my culture and by a large majority of my family, but that’s not the place I know by heart or grew up. That is not the country that has helped my progress as an individual. It is here in the United States where my hopes and dreams are at for a better future. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals will open job opportunities for undocumented students, avoid being deported back to their native country for at least two years, and give them a sense of hope to apply for college and scholarships, no longer fearing of being denied because they do not have a social security number. Although the process for this policy will take a while and cost hundreds of dollars, thousands of undocumented students will be thankful for this opportunity given by the Department of Homeland Security Immigration services. As well, as thanking President Obama for making this step by step process a reality.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals also known as the DACA policy was first heard of on June 15, 2012. That day President Obama made a public speech that lasted almost nine minutes long explaining how this will help undocumented students living in the United States since they were young children. The DACA is NOT a path to citizenship right away, but a sense of relief for undocumented students. This policy will has its requirements to be able to apply for it and be eligible.
Around Mid-August of 2012, the Department of Homeland Security Immigration services started receiving about 180,000 applications and 4,500 of those applications were eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. However, in the first two months “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services received and accepted for processing 179,794 deferred-action requests” (Fitz, Oakford, Garcia). In order to be eligible an undocumented student must have been living here in the United States before their 16th birthday, be under the age of 31 years of age, were in the Unites States on June 15, 2012, have proof that they are still attending school or have graduated, serving in the U.S. military, have been living here in the United States for 5 continuous years without leaving the country, and have no felonies, no more than three misdemeanors or significant ones, and not considered a public or national threat (“”). Proof that can show that you have all those necessary requirements are certificates a student may have received from school, house bills, medical records, even...
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