Though Maria Garcia has lived in the United States for 20 years, it is only during the past couple that the pursuit of the American dream seemed within reach.
The Republican lawsuit against DACA expansion and DAPA was undoubtedly a bump in the road, but it is not the final word. The law is clear and DAPA/DACA expansion policies are legal, despite what Judge Hanen thinks.
With his last-minute decision, Judge Hanen has blocked nearly 5 million aspiring Americans from getting right with the law, working and paying taxes, and living free from the constant fear of deportation and separation from their families.
The conventional wisdom is that Judge Hanen will enjoin implementation of the executive actions, perhaps as early as this week. But the conventional wisdom could be way off. In fact, there's a strong chance that Judge Hanen will throw the case out -- if he correctly follows the law. Here's why.
As the film Selma screens nationwide to critical acclaim, police from Clarke County arrested nine students on Friday evening in Athens, Georgia, for organizing the first "integrated classroom" for both undocumented and documented youth at the University of Georgia.
On January 9, a federal court is scheduled to listen to arguments about President Obama's executive actions to shield more than 4 million people from deportation. Noticeably absent from the debate is any discussion of immigrants themselves -- the people who will be directly affected by the court's ruling.
There are things you can do right now, both to increase your chances of acceptance at your top choice school, and to strengthen your regular decision applications.
A deferral means that you are qualified and that the admission officers will take another look at your application file during their regular admission period. So, what to do?
The criminal bars for parents applying for deferred action are very strict. Even if there is no absolute bar to a parent's application, immigration officers can still deny it for "discretionary" reasons -- in other words, if something about the applicant raises concerns about her continued presence in the US.
Two years later, pending on my DACA renewal, I am no longer obsessively checking the status of my second USCIS application. Rather, I spend time thinking about what will happen to my parents.
As Giancarlo started to plan for college, he asked his mother what he should put on the applications when they asked for his social security number. She told him that he couldn't put anything down, and that he might not be able to go to college at all.
The fact that legal challenges to administrative actions such as DACA have bit the dust should embolden the President to expand the program to as many people as possible, and not stop at any arbitrary limits imposed by political will.
Latinos may be tempted to sit on the sidelines in the 2014 midterms. Some have even counseled that the best way for Latinos to show their power is to stay home. While there is good reason for frustration, we cannot afford to be apathetic or to indulge in the politics of spite.
DACA has given me a glimpse of life as a lawfully present American. The thrill of passing my learner's permit test, of being asked to come in for a job interview, or even of the satisfaction I felt when I submitted my taxes on time--these small instances felt tremendously rewarding.
Now that the House has folded up its circus tent and gone home for summer, it's clear that if President Obama wants immigration changes, he'll have to make them on his own. Fortunately, the President has wide authority to do so.
What lessons can we draw from the first two years of the DACA process? DACA recipients have benefitted immeasurably from gaining access to opportunities previously denied to them because of their immigration status.