President Obama’s announcement that he will protect undocumented youth has left some excited, but many worrying for their futures. According to one of the nation’s largest public radio station, WNYC, one of the issues many youth have is that there isn’t enough clarity about what the legislation will entail. After being deported 11 years ago, 24-year-old Cecilio, a native of Mexico, returned to the United States in hope of a brighter future.
Cecilio is planning to graduate from Borough of Manhattan Community College with an Associate’s Degree in liberal arts next year. Although he meets the bill’s qualifications of residence, age and education requirements, he told the source he is still unsure about how he feels after the president’s announcement.
“I was kind of happy,” he said. “But at the same time I was like, ‘Ok, we need to see first what are the requirements.’”
Cecilio isn’t the only undocumented student that feels this way. According to National Public Radio, 20-year-old Gustavo Madrigal is also not sure how the legislation will play out. Madrigal came to the U.S. at the age of 9, and has since graduated high school, but since he does not have legal U.S. citizenship, he is unable to attend college or apply for many scholarships, despite his 3.9 grade point average. He told the source he hopes the bill will change how immigration is viewed in the future.
“We don’t want people to end [up] working at McDonald’s the rest of their lives, you know. Not that that’s not respectable but, you know, there’s just so much potential with our community that it would be a shame to see it go … to waste and nothing happen with it,” Madrigal said.