Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Report

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Report

Introduction/Overview
As a result of President Obama’s announcement to give consideration of Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals (DACA), many farmworker youth and some adults have received the opportunity to apply for a work authorization and other essential documents that can enable them to seek other opportunities of employment. They are part of the estimated 1,000,000+ people across the country that may qualify for this permit. DACA is a victory for the many DREAMers that have come out of the shadows demanding to be allowed full participation in U.S. society.

Although this is a step in the right direction, farmworkers continue to face challenges that are not addressed. Many farmworkers simply don’t have the resources to pay for the application fee nor a lawyer’s fee, and to top it off most of the requirements for DACA include having a high school diploma or GED, providing school transcripts, and proof of residency, among other things. The majority of farmworkers travel across many states seeking work, therefore attending different school systems, and statistics show that over half of them will drop out of high school to continue working in the fields. The provisions for DACA have left many young farmworkers out of the equation.

What is DACA?
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and who meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. More information at: www.uscis.gov

What has SAF done about it?
SAF teamed up with the lawyers and staff at the North Carolina Justice Center and with other important community allies to facilitate a series of 3 information sessions and 2 free legal clinics in three different rural communities in Southeastern NC where agriculture and poultry/slaughterhouse work is the main source of jobs. We were able to reach over 133 potential applicants and their families by providing them accurate information and guidance through the application process. We helped over 35 young people prepare their applications, gather their supporting documents, submit their applications and receive correspondence. We would like to thank the following community allies for helping us make this happen: North Carolina Justice Center, Episcopal Farmworker Ministry, St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church, and El Centro Hispano.

Currently, the SAF staff continues to assist many of the DACA applicants that have also participated in our programs by transporting them to their appointments and guiding them through the process. In addition, we have been fortunate to welcome Yazmin Garcia Rico to our staff as our new National Organizer. Yazmin went through the DACA process herself and has been a great advisor for our youth.

Check out Yazmin’s story here:
http://www.afsc.org/story/dreams-still-deferred-moving-forward-thanks-new-obama-policy

Updates/Contact/Resources
As the current Administration, House of Representatives, and Senate continue to debate the larger issue of immigration reform, many states have reacted differently to the DACA announcements. Some states are even denying driver licenses and other services to DACA recipients or at least are threatening to do so. It is important that we continue educating and engaging our allies, including the young people we work with, in order to move our country forward.

More resources:
-NCJC website: http://www.ncjustice.org/?q=DACA
-Fotonovela from Rural Women's Health Project
- http://www.immigrationdirect.com/deferred-action-daca-renewal-i821d/

Read below for a documented timeline for the past two weeks regarding DACA recipients and driver's licenses.
As of now DMV is not issuing driver's license to DACA recipients. (Last Updated: 1/23/13)

January 11, 2013 in Charlotte paper and Raleigh News and Observer
http://vltp.net/n-c-switches-stance-on-drivers-licenses-for-illegal-immigrants/

January 17, 2013 WRAL report of Attorney General's opinion
http://www.wral.com/ag-dmv-should-issue-licenses-to-young-illegal-immigrants/11992515/

January 17, 2013 The letter sent to DMV by the Attorney General's office
http://www.wral.com/asset/news/local/2013/01/17/11992902/AG_letter_to_DMV_on_DACA_licenses.pdf
The last paragraph of this three page letter states that under NC Gen Stat. 20-7 which states that DMV shall issue a drivers
license of limited duration to persons who present valid documentation demonstrating deferment and meet all other statuary
requirements, "requires that such licenses be issued."

January 18, 2013 Federal Government says DACA recipients should get license
http://www.aclu.org/immigrants-rights/federal-government-issues-guidance-confirming-states-should-allow-dreamers-apply

January 23, 2013 a demonstration by young DACA recipients in front of Dept of Transportation in Raleigh,
article addresses that the Lt. Governor says the Attorney General was wrong to make his issuance.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/01/22/2625150/illegal-immigrants-push-for-nc.html

Recently, some DACA recipients have been sent letters revoking their licenses. If you have students whose licenses have been denied or revoked they may contact ACLU at 919-834-3455.

Take Action!

1. Call Head of NC Department of Transportation, Tony Tata @ 919-707-2800
2. Call the DMV Commissioner Eric Boyette @ 919-861-3015

Sample Script: "Hi, I'm calling to support driver licenses for DACA immigrant youth. They are legally present in North Carolina as USCIS and the NC Attorney General have made clear. I want a safe North Carolina with licensed and insured drivers. We must put safety over hate politics."
Let the NC Dream team know how your call went:  jose.torresdon@gmail.com
Don't forget to also sign the petition for licenses!