Vox ran interesting story recently titled: “3 Years Later, the young immigrants Obama protected are feeling less afraid-and more American“.
The article talks about how the 680,000 people who have benefited from DACA have settled into their new normal and how they are more stable in their daily lives. They are also reaping psychological benefits from not having to fear being deported on a daily basis. In addition they are regaining the upward career mobility that they used to believe that they would have when they were children.
“Unauthorized immigrants are eligible to apply for DACA if they’re under 30 and came to the US before they were 16. Many of those who’ve applied came much earlier, as children. That puts them squarely in what demographers call the “1.5 generation” of immigrant families. Technically, they’re the first generation of their family to come to the US — just like their parents are. But their life experiences have been more like those of children born in the US to immigrant parents, or “second-generation” immigrants: They’ve grown up in the US, speak English fluently, and attended US schools.” Many of these young people didn’t realize that there was anything different about them until their mid to late teenage years. This was exactly the time they became eligible for Deferred Action.
Deferred Action has allowed ” young unauthorized immigrants to live in the US, go to school legally, work legally, and drive legally. (DACA doesn’t guarantee drivers’ licenses, but every state’s laws allow immigrants with DACA to get licensed.)
Virtually all DACA recipients have taken advantage of at least one of those privileges. The new UWD survey found that 90 percent of respondents had gotten a driver’s license and 40 percent had bought their first car. Eighty percent of respondents were employed — and nearly all of them (76 percent of all respondents) had gotten a better-paying job since getting their DACA status. Additionally, 30 percent of respondents said they’d returned to school, and 31 percent said they’d qualified for additional financial aid. (Having DACA status doesn’t allow students to fill out the federal financial aid forms, but some schools and private institutions offer scholarship.”
Also, according to the article, “because DACA recipients can work legally and many of them are earning more money, they’re in a better position to help their families make ends meet: 59 percent of survey respondents say they can better help their families financially now that they have DACA, and 62 percent help families pay the bills. Because they can drive legally, they can help drive their families around: 41 percent say they’re drivers for their families. And in some cases, their greater financial legitimacy is something they open up to their families as well: 12 percent of DACA recipients surveyed said their name is on their family’s lease; 12 percent said their family uses their credit card; and 11 percent said their family uses their bank account.
There’s also the more traditional work that 1.5-generation and second-generation kids do for their immigrant parents: 72 percent of respondents help their parents fill out official documents, and 70 percent of them help translate. As the sociologist Ruben Rumbaut has pointed out, it’s common for the adult children of immigrants to play this role: to contribute to their parents financially and serve as “cultural brokers.” But immigrants with DACA can also go places their parents might be afraid to go. Thirty-seven percent of United We Dream survey respondents said they attended “important meetings, like parent-teacher conferences,” on their parents’ behalf.”
Overall it appears that DACA has helped many families in our country. My office has worked on deferred action cases for many of our clients over the years. These young people dress and act like other U.S. born high school students, college students and other U.S. born young people. They definitely have grown up with American values and culture and view the United States as their country. Their home. I am very happy to see that overall deferred action has helped these young people. It has helped them contribute to a country that they love. Deferred Action has been good for them, their families, and our country. It has been a good 3 years.
Lawrence Gruner is a Sacramento Immigration Attorney, a green card attorney, and a fiancé visa attorney with over 20 years of experience handling immigration cases. He would be happy to talk to you about your immigration case. You may reach him at 916-760-7270.