Last week, my colleagues and I got to speak at a community event for DACA held at St. Paul’s Church in San Pablo. St. Paul’s has special significance to me because my husband went to grade school there. The event was hosted by CLOUD (Community Leaders Organizing Undocumented DREAMers).
Community organizer Marilyn Martinez, fellow immigration attorney, Tala Hartsough, and I at the event. The Law Offices of Grace R. Alano. All rights reserved.
We answered frequently asked questions, some, in particular, having to do with the pros and cons of filing a DACA application. Some of the pros include becoming work authorized, being able to obtain a social security number, identification, and possible school in-state tuition benefits. All of these help DREAMers realize their full potential and will likely benefit the U.S. economy.
Some of the cons include the program possibly terminating if Mitt Romney is elected and exposure of DREAMers and their families to USCIS and ICE. ICE agents are also suing the federal government over the policy.
At heart, I am an optimist. I believe there is strength in numbers and that there will be a big political backlash if the program is prematurely ended. What benefit will the government derive from putting all those people in removal proceedings? That is, besides political approval. Putting people in detention and shipping them off will cost a lot of money. Whereas keeping the program going could benefit the U.S. through the additional taxes that DREAMers will pay due to their being able to get higher education and better jobs, and being able to create jobs. Maybe I am naive, but I like to DREAM.
Being with the DACA community inspired even more hope. It was a warm group of people. As Elie Weisel said, “No human being is illegal.”
For those interested in learning about DACA, I advise that you look at the USCIS DACA information page. If you cannot afford to meet with a private attorney to review your case, I urge you to meet with a non-profit community organization with an immigration attorney on staff for individualized case review.
Answering frequently asked questions. The Law Offices of Grace R. Alano. All rights reserved.