Deferred Action for Dreamers Begins

Undocumented youth will be able to apply for deferred action beginning Wednesday

By Karen Yi and Gilma Avalos
|  Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012  |  Updated 8:59 PM EDT
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In a major policy announcement, Obama said he would halt the deportation of undocumented youth and allow those younger than 31 that arrived in the country before they were 16 to apply for a two-year work permit. Immigrant groups in South Florida will gather Wednesday and provide help for those filling out the applications. Cheryl Little, Executive Director at Americans for Immigrant Justice, recommended having an attorney look over the application before it's submitted.

In a major policy announcement, Obama said he would halt the deportation of undocumented youth and allow those younger than 31 that arrived in the country before they were 16 to apply for a two-year work permit. Immigrant groups in South Florida will gather Wednesday and provide help for those filling out the applications. Cheryl Little, Executive Director at Americans for Immigrant Justice, recommended having an attorney look over the application before it's submitted.

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Deferred Action for Dreamers Begins

Starting Wednesday, young, undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for temporary legal status under the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" (DACA) Plan passed by President Barack Obama in June.

DREAMers React to Obama's Immigration Policy

Miami-area young people affected by President Obama's policy change on immigration discussed what it means for them Friday, including Jose Machado, 17, who is originally from Nicaragua. Immigration attorney Cheryl Little also spoke at a press conference.
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The day has arrived for Dreamers in Florida and across the nation to finally be able to adjust their immigration status.

Starting Wednesday, young, undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for temporary legal status under the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" (DACA) Plan passed by President Barack Obama in June. 

"The biggest award that I've ever gotten in my life – my application for deferred action," Felipe Matos said on Wednesday. He came to this country from Brazil 11 years ago.

In a major policy announcement, Obama said he would halt the deportation of undocumented youth and allow those younger than 31 that arrived in the country before they were 16 to apply for a two-year work permit.

Young Immigrants React to Obama's Policy

To be eligible, the youth must be in the country for at least five consecutive years; have no criminal history; graduated from high school, have a GED or served in the military.

Congressman David Rivera planned to host workshop and information sessions from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in his Miami district office, located at 12851 SW 42nd St. Suite 131.

Mixed Reaction in SoFla to Immigration Ruling

Immigrant groups in South Florida gathered Wednesday and provided help for those filling out the applications.

Cheryl Little, executive director at Americans for Immigrant Justice, recommended having an attorney look over the application before it's submitted.

"It's important to get the application right the first time," Little said in a release. "Mistakes or misunderstandings could lead to denial of deferred action and losing the $465 fee or worse – deportation."

Jose Machado from Nicaragua is in the foster care system, after his mother was deported to his native country. He will be applying for temporary legal status, and advocating for those who cannot.

"For people that can't qualify like my friend Julio, just because he doesn't meet the age requirement. So I’m still fighting for those people who couldn’t qualify for this, and to find something more permanent," said Machaco, who attends Miami Senior High School.

Applications are available online at uscis.gov.

More information is available at this Department of Homeland Security link, and at fldream.swer.org.

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