Charlotte, North Carolina – The dream of living and working legally in this country has come to fruition for many who have been able to qualify for the Deferred Action program, but there are still young undocumented immigrants who are facing challenges in benefiting from the measure.
According to statistics compiled by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, between Aug. 15, 2012, and June 30, 2013, a total of 537,662 requests were received under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, of which 400,562 were approved.
However, the Brookings Institute estimates that 936,000 immigrants fulfilled all the requirements to apply for the program when it was announced.
For Sarah Hooker, with the Migration Policy Institute and the coauthor of an analysis of DACA, there have been several factors that have contributed to the fact that not all eligible people have received coverage under the program.
Those factors include "the lack of resources to pay the $465 for the application, inability to present documents proving their continuous presence in the country (and) lack of information about the program," Hooker told Efe.
"Others simply are waiting for Congress to approve immigration reform that will legalize them once and for all and they prefer to avoid paying twice for their papers," she said.
Rossy Cruz, a 17-year-old Mexican immigrant, feels frustrated at losing another whole year of the benefits offered by DACA.
"Since I'm a minor, I need my parents to get the passport I have to present with my application, and, since my father refused to go through the procedure, I've been left out," Cruz said.
"I want to go to college and study political science, be able to drive without fear of being arrested and work without problems to pay the cost of my classes. It's been agony to see (others) getting ahead," Cruz added.
Despite the fact that Juan Ramos did not qualify for DACA because he arrived in the country after Sept. 15, 2007, the 20-year-old Salvadoran did not give up and joined the national United We Dream organization.
"It's very disappointing for many dreamers not to be covered under this program, but I'm trying to motivate them so that we keep fighting," Ramos told Efe.