Youth Coming Forward As Undocumented After President’s Announcement

Since President Obama’s announcement will give a two-year reprieve to undocumented immigrants, many immigrant parents are stepping forward to file paperwork to help protect their children. Many groups have gathered to discuss plans and steps to take in order to make sure the youth are safe from deportation, which has given some clarity to some confused youth and advocates.

According to The Sacramento Bee, a live chat was held on June 26 that allowed people to share their questions and comments about the future for the state of immigrants living in the state of California without legal U.S. citizenship. The chat was hosted by Gabriel “Jack” Chin, a professor of law at the University of California, Davis. This wasn’t the first chat that Chin has been a part of; he has hosted several similar events which he hopes will help individuals figure out their rights and possible futures.

After the announcement was made, questions were raised over whether or not the new law would definitely protect the youth. Although many are skeptical, some youth are looking forward to seeing what the laws will entail. According to Voice of America, Alaa Mukahhal, an undocumented immigrant from Kuwait, was afraid to come forward until President Obama’s declaration. Mukahhal was brought to the United States when she was just seven years old, and said that she describes herself as “cautiously optimistic.”

Mukahhal, 26, has an architecture degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and wants to design affordable housing in low-income communities. However, she is currently waiting to find out if she will be granted political asylum to avoid being deported to Jordan.

“I applied for asylum based on the fact I was Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship,” she said. “There was a Human Rights Watch report saying that there’s been recordings of Palestinians going back to Jordan being stripped of their citizenship.”

The federal judge will decide in September if she will be granted the asylum, however, Mukahhal will continue to be a supporter for immigration advocacy.