Every year, approximately 40,000 children enter our country without permission. Those who are caught coming in are turned over to DCS (CPS) -type authorities from their country of origin (in Mexico, this entity is called DIF, Directorio de Centros). Those who are not caught are become friends of our children and our neighbors. They do not choose to be here, but they are tasked with learning to navigate the our country without a culturally-fluent parent guiding them.
Trump refers to foreigners as bad hombres, rapists and drug runners. To the contrary, illegal immigrants commit crime at a lower rate than people born in our country, and often children of immigrants academically outperform their peers. They live under the daily stress of being found out, focusing constantly on flying under the radar.
Close to 25% of the children who cross into our country illegally are twelve and under. Children who are 12 and under do not decide where their parents live and cannot not be held responsible for their family’s decision to bring them here.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), was created by President Obama by way of executive order in June of 2012 to allow some of those adults brought here as children temporary protections from deportation. DACA provides that the following immigrants will not be deported for two years and will be allowed to work meanwhile:
- Under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;
- Continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for DACA consideration;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
- Currently in school, graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- No convictions of a felony, significant misdemeanor,or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Some DACA recipients may be eligible to adjust their status to permanent residents. They are eligible to apply for a social security number as well as a driver’s license. These documents are key to obtaining a loan, signing a lease and applying for employment. DACA provides a positive value for those who did not decide to move to our country but made the best out of their situation to become productive citizens. I hope our DACA program is honored by President Trump.
It is not clear what President Trump will do with those currently under the protections of DACA. Trump has said he will not deport those with DACA protections but we have seen otherwise. You should speak with an immigration attorney before applying for DACA protections under our current administration.