A&M Students Apply for Deferred Deportation

Immigration organizations around the country held information forums for those eligible for the Obama administration’s deferred deportation policy.

The DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a policy President Obama announced Jun. 15, 2012. Undocumented immigrants who are 30 years old or younger; who moved to the U.S. before their 16th birthday; and who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years are eligible for a two year deferment of deportation. Applications became available Aug. 15, 2012.

Berenice Hernandez moved to the United States when she was six years old. She is a now a student at Texas A&M.

“I'm from Mexico, but I sort of don't remember much about it since I was just born there. I lived there a couple years before I had to move to Houston,” said Hernandez.

It's a story shared by many DREAMers. DREAMers are undocumented students who want to stay in the United States to work after they graduate.

“Up to this point they remained as dreams, but thanks to deferred action, we will be able to actually fulfill some of them,” said Violeta Figueroa, Council for Minority Student Affairs PR.

People opposed to the policy say it exceeds the Obama administration's authority.

Governor Rick Perry called the policy "...a slap in the face to the rule of law." Perry said it doesn't change state laws, so undocumented immigrants still won't be able to receive certain benefits or get drivers licenses in Texas.

But DREAMers say deferred deportation will relieve some of the pressure they feel every day

“Am I going to be able to see my parents when I come home? Am I going to be able to work? Am I going to be able to help my parents, sometimes they don't have money. What am I supposed to do? If I use fake papers I could probably get deported...those kind of obstacles that you really have to think about. That can be life changing,” said Hernandez.

Hernanez hopes to move back to Houston after she graduates to become a teacher.


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