Activists Respond Differently to Obama’s Executive Order

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Not all activists were thrilled. “While this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction,” said Juan Escalante, an online activist and blogger, “a lot of people are disillusioned because we still don’t have immigration reform. Though it’s only temporary... people like my parents are going to be left out of something that could potentially change our lives entirely.” Escalante and his parents came to the United States in 2000 when he was 11 years old on a visa. When it came time to renew, the family’s lawyer advised them to apply for a Green Card instead because they were “sure to get one.” “We became undocumented by way of our lawyer,” he said. While Escalante is a beneficiary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), his parents have lived in fear of deportation every day since losing their secure stay. But some are more skeptical of the program. “Assuming that the program is like deferred action you would probably have to renew it through USCIS ,” said Angy Rivera, core member at the New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC). “But that is also under the assumption that the program continues running after Obama leaves office. It’s literally like giving your whole life over to immigration officials and you are not on the path to citizenship.” Not only is there fear amongst the community that after three years of relief, they could be easily found and deported by way of the information they provided, Rivera said, but many are afraid that having lived under the radar for so long, they may not have sufficient proof to qualify in the first place and putting them in jeopardy instantly. Rivera predicts that these considerations could inhibit the number of people who apply, and therefore benefit from the new program. via Promise Fulfilled? Activists Respond Differently to Obama’s Executive Order.

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