Editor’s note: DACA is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. People under 31 years old as of the date of passage of the Act, brought to the US as children, who graduated high school here, with a clean criminal record may apply for a two year guarantee that they will not be deported. They will be allowed work cards during this period. A common question I get is “What about after that 2 years? What then?”
I have submitted approximately 20 DACA applications thus far. I see these applications — which are applications for deferred action for childhood arrivals — as a no lose situation for my immigrant clients. They are receiving a binding promise from the US government that they will not be deported for two years. During the two years, they will be authorized to work and to drive (so long as they do not live in some medieval state. Hint: ARIZONA). I know that some applicants and some lawyers have fear and trepidation when approaching this process. I encourage you to have faith in the United States of America.
I met in my office a very nervous young man last week who refused to apply for his work card. He stated that he wanted to wait until the election was over, so that he can see what the future of the country would be. I tell myself, and I told my friend, that regardless of who is elected, America has made a promise to him and his young friends. That promise is: “You are safe here. In the future you will receive residence and citizenship, but the work card is the best we can do for you right now.” I have faith that my country will do the right thing no matter who is President.
Immigration into America has always been guided by a good guys – in, bad guys – out policy. This is a basic truth about immigration into America since the pilgrims came ashore. Those who have done no wrong, and who are in America through no fault of their own have always been taken care of. This is true whether they are refugees from a war, economic refugees, or children brought here by their parents. My country will complain. My country may very well pitch a fit. But my country will come through for these children. It always has. It always will.