Immigration status has an enormous impact on the lives of millions of undocumented young people across the United States. Being undocumented can stop people’s dreams, curtail their ambitions, and can mean that daily life is fraught with risks and the fear of deportation.
In an effort to address some of the challenges that undocumented youth face, President Barack Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program on June 15, 2012. As an exercise in administrative discretion—unlike a legislative effort—DACA does not give undocumented youth lawful permanent resident status such as a green card or provide a path to permanent residency and citizenship. Rather, it gives temporary relief from deportation to undocumented youth and work authorization that can be renewed every two years to eligible applicants. Nevertheless, the DACA announcement represented a victory for undocumented youth and their allies; more than half a million young people to date have applied for deferred action.
For more on this topic, please see:
- Undocumented No More by Tom K. Wong, Angela S. García, Marisa Abrajano, David FitzGerald, Karthick Ramakrishnan, and Sally Le