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article imageOp-Ed: It is time for 'dreamers' to hold onto their dream

By Valerie Benguiat     Jun 20, 2014 in Politics
Every year more than 20,000 of young migrants arrive to the United States in what hopefully will be the promise of a better life. Before 2012, these migrants were at high risk of being deported even if they had spent many years living in the U.S.
These migrants were labeled as "dreamers" by the Obama administration, and in an effort to live up to the expectations raised during the last presidential campaign, the American government has put forward the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to offer those "dreamers" a chance to hold onto their dream. Now the time has come for the early DACA applicants to renew their stay in the United States, and those who fail their renewals may have to face the bitterness of deportation in September 2014.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative allows many people that arrived to the United States as children to be protected from deportation and be eligible for employment, which will normalize their situation in the country.
As stated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, this new initiative stems from the effort to devote resources to uproot real threats to national security, rather than spend time and money deporting individuals that can otherwise be lawful taxpayers:
As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety, DHS will exercise prosecutorial discretion as appropriate to ensure that enforcement resources are not expended on low priority cases, such as individuals who came to the United States as children and meet other key guidelines
Who qualifies for DACA?
Migrants may be considered for DACA if: they arrived to the US before their 16th birthday; they have resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 and up to the present time; they were under 31 by June 15, 2012; they entered without inspection or their legal migration status expired before June 15, 2012; and are studying, have graduated or have obtained an educational degree.
DACA was first announced in September 2012, and as mentioned by Bridge US, by September 2014 the first applicants for this deferral program will have to go through the renewal of their DACA. It's important to note that DACA is valid for two years or until the individual is employed and qualifies for a residence permit.
Opposition ahead
However, this seemingly benevolent program for immigrants can send a contradictory message to those new 'dreamers' that wish to cross the border, because the current (and possibly future) administration has sent another statement to young immigrants: go home.
According to the Daily Mail: Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that the American government should deport thousands of children who cross the border illegally into the United States.
Is this a strategy for potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to break with the current administration?
We have to send a clear message: Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn't mean the child gets to stay.
It's still a victory
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: More than 560,000 people had received temporary legal status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program by April 2014.
With these numbers, "dreamers" can consider DACA an undeniable victory, even if Hillary Clinton aims to stop new youngsters from achieving the American dream.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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