Some aspects of life are very much taken for granted. Like the fact that I am American and have no issues where citizenship is concerned. I have no idea what it’s like to live in fear. Perhaps fear of creditors, but not fear of being deported. However, I certainly am not far removed from knowing what people go through, not having their “papers” as we say in the Caribbean community. I do think that the Deferred Action bill gives people an opportunity, for the moment, to not live in fear. The ability to obtain a work permit, perhaps money for school and definitely free from living in the shadows of society.
Of course many are reluctant about filling out the papers because they feel that they put their family in harm’s way. Some don’t know if pass transgressions like the use of fake Social Security numbers will be deemed as fraud preventing them from obtaining deferred action status. As reported in the story from NPR/WNYC, many people and attorneys are not sure what action the USCIS will take in those instances. So, some are choosing to wait and stay in a holding pattern to see if they can get more information about that issue in the coming months.
In an interview two weeks ago the New York Secretary of State was discussing some of the issues surrounding the fears the Dreamers have, mainly putting their family at risk. He reassured applicant’s that none of the information provided will be used for deportation proceedings. But, eligible applicants still have the fear that at the end of two years, depending on who wins the Presidency, that temporary status will end. If the Romney administration is in office they can then say these individuals are out of status. Many argue that this would not look good and would be an extreme measure to reverse status of those given status under a proper law.
So, what do you do? Examine your individual situation and make sure you fit the requirements. Definitely make sure you have no felony, or two or more misdemeanors, this bars you and you can be subject to deportation. There are plenty of places to get free information and assistance. You can also contact an attorney if you feel your circumstances are unique and need to sit down with someone to hash out your dilemma. New York has provided a hotline for your questions: 1-800-566-7636 or www.nysdeferredaction.ny.gov