Undocumented Children Taking Steps to Full Citizenship

During September, applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program peaked at 5,715 a day, but slowed to 4,527 a day during the first half of November. The program, launched by the Obama administration in August, offers temporary legal status for individuals who came to the country before they turned 16.

Some believe that coming forward as an undocumented child before the election was risky, and since the reelection of Obama more youths have applied for deferred deportation, according to North Carolina CBS affiliate WBTV.

Estefania Arrazola, 19, told the publication she applied for deferred action as an undocumented person because companies don’t want to take the risk of hiring an individual like her. Arrazola stated that she would like to pursue a college degree, but cannot because of monetary issues.

Arrazola is one of millions of youths who were brought to the United States illegally and are now taking steps to full citizenship. Individuals like Arrazola are applying for U.S. citizenship so they can attend college and pursue long-term careers within the U.S.

Southern California Public Radio reported some immigrant advocates believe the $465 filing fee is too steep for many individuals, and deferred action applications have slowed since September.

“I think that what you are seeing now is the older individuals, for whom getting that continuous residency documentation is really difficult,” Nora Phillips, a staff attorney at the Central American Resource Center told the publication “Or people who are really just scared, even though the election happened. They are still terrified to move forward, or even seek legal advice, because they might have a criminal issue, or some other thing they think might present an issue.”

The federal government accepted 298,834 applications and rejected 10,101 of the 308,935 total deferred applications filed through mid-November.

This article is 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.