President Obama’s deferred action program, which began earlier this week, already has thousands of undocumented immigrants lining up around the country to file their paperwork. What some see as a tremendous opportunity, others see as merely a step in the right direction.
The program offers illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as youth a chance to obtain a two-year work permit that will legally allow them to remain in the country. College graduates will be able to look for paid positions in their fields, whereas before, they were only able to work in unpaid internships.
While deferred action will allow many undocumented youth to find lawful employment, there are still numerous obstacles to overcome before being able to receive a U.S. college education. One of the largest barriers to many students is cost – without proper identification, students cannot apply for financial aid.
Federal requirements mandate that applicants must have a green card or U.S. citizenship to be deemed eligible to receive loans and grants, but President Obama has made it clear that deferred action is not a road to either of these legal statuses.
Because of the financial constraints of accredited four-year universities, most undocumented immigrants end up enrolling in community colleges, where they will be able to take one or two classes a semester while also working full time, according to Fox News.
Many critics are also concerned with what will happen to undocumented youth once these two-year permits expire.
“Applying for deferred action could mean the answer to their financial headaches and career conundrums, but it could backfire on the students two years down the line when they would have to reapply,” said EGP News. “There is no guarantee their permits would be renewed, the government would have their information, and with a presidential election around the corner, there is no telling what the political climate will be like around the subject of immigration reform.”
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.