Dreamers Return to Mexico
July 5, 2018
The Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an immigration policy that defers deportation of individuals who were unlawfully brought to the U.S. as children. Applicants must meet certain requirements, including: being under the age of 16 when entering the U.S.; either being enrolled, having completed or graduated high school; honorably discharged from the military; and not being convicted of a felony. There have been 798,980 DACA approvals since 2012 and as of September 4, 2017, there were 689,800 DACA recipients.
DACA does not provide its recipients with a path to citizenship. The Dream Act of 2017 would provide such a path by granting DACA beneficiaries conditionally-based permanent resident (CPR) status. This in turn would allow for permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident (LPR) status if they meet certain requirements such as attending college. After spending a certain amount of time in both CPR and LPR status, they would be permitted to apply for U.S. citizenship. It would also stay the deportation proceedings of anyone who meets Dream Act requirements and children under the age of five who are enrolled in school.
Finally, it would change the rules limiting access to in-state tuition to improve the affordability of college for undocumented youths and other immigrants. The Dream Act has received bipartisan support since its introduction; however, it has yet to be passed by Congress.
Trump Administration Opposition
The Trump administration announced its intention to phase out DACA on September 5, 2017, allowing work permits issued under DACA to remain effective until they expire, and processing new DACA applications received by September 5, 2017, in addition to renewal applications received by October 5, 2017.
Due to delays at the United States Postal Service (USPS), some applications were processed after the October deadline because they were mailed – but not delivered – on time.
Although the administration plans to dismantle the program, it also effectively gave Congress six months to pass the Dream Act. Due to a great deal of politicking of this process, that has yet to be accomplished.
The Future of DACA
As DACA hangs in the balance, many “Dreamers” are voluntarily moving back to Mexico. Since coming to the United States as a teenager, one DACA recipient went to school, started his own business, and bought a house. He hoped for a long time that he would eventually get citizenship so he could return to Mexico and visit his family (DACA bans recipients from re-entering the U.S. for up to 10 years after voluntarily returning to their home country).
However, as the DACA debate dragged on, he began to realize that he could not wait for its conclusion; he needed to be with his family back in Mexico. He sold his business and his house and went back to his family, knowing he may not be able to return to the U.S. for up to 10 years. He says that many Dreamers are tired of waiting for politicians to make a decision, and that they do not see the American dream in America anymore.
Fortunately, many Dreamers will be returning to their home countries with an education and knowledge of the English language, which will likely garner them many job opportunities. The future of the “Dreamers” who remain in the United States, however, remains uncertain.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC Fight for the Rights of Immigrants
If you are dealing with an immigration issue, contact an experienced Philadelphia immigration lawyer at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC We handle all types of immigration issues including immigrant Visa petitions, extensions of stay and defense in deportation proceedings. From our offices in Philadelphia, we represent clients throughout Pennsylvania. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-496-0690.