After a controversial immigration law was repealed earlier this year in Arizona, anti-immigration legislation on the state is making headlines again shortly after the implementation of deferred action.
One of the criteria that undocumented individuals must meet to be considered eligible for the program is a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate. This guideline conflicts with an Arizona state law passed a few years ago.
In 2006, Proposition 300 prohibited state-funded schools from allowing undocumented immigrants to take free GED classes, which now makes the path to deferred action much more difficult for students who are too old to earn a high school diploma in the public school system.
Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer took the issue to the next level, giving executive orders last week to not allow deferred action applicants to obtain a drivers license or other public benefits. Shortly after, Governor Dave Heineman of Nebraska made the same announcement.
Local immigration and deferred action advocacy groups in Arizona are trying to find a way around the law, saying that students don’t necessarily need to take a GED course to take a GED exam. However, while test-takers do not legally need to have taken any prep course, they must have two forms of identification upon admittance, which Governor Brewer’s order complicates. Since these individuals also do not have green cards or work visas, many are left without options.
The best available alternative is to take an online course, where there is no requirement to show legal presence, according to New America Media.
Authorities estimate that there are roughly 80,000 undocumented immigrants in Arizona, and there is currently no data on how many of these immigrants lack the education to qualify for deferred action.
This article brought to you by Immigration Direct, a trusted resource for matters related to the government’s deferred action program. Take the Free Deferred Action Eligibility Quiz online today.