By Gel Santos Relos
Sa lalo pang umiinit na debate hinggil sa problema sa illegal immigration ng America, payag ka bang huwag patalsikin, bagkus ay bigyan ng daan para magkaroon ng legal status ang mga estudyanteng TNT? Read the article below to find out what the government is doing to spare the undocumented students from deportation and the law that will give them pathway to US citizenship.
While the Obama administration may have deported more illegal immigrants convicted of crimes in the past year than its predecessors, its immigration and custom enforcers have been sparing undocumented high school students from expulsion from the United States as a matter of this administration’s prerogative.
students, who have been allowed to remain, are among more than 700,000 illegal
immigrants who would be eligible for legal status under a bill before Congress,
specifically for high school graduates who came to the United States before
they were 16.
The Department of Homeland Security officials state that they had made no formal change of policy to permit those students to stay. They explained that they are working on more pressing deportations. They argue that their limited resources are better utilized on illegal immigrants who commit crimes rather than on young people who are in school.
world of limited resources, our time is better spent on someone who is here
unlawfully and is committing crimes in the neighborhood, as opposed to someone
who came to this country as a juvenile and spent the vast majority of
[his/her] life here,” John Morton, the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
To enforce this further, a moratorium has been issued to stop the arrest, detention and deportation of undocumented students. However, this moratorium is only temporary relief for these students, as the Obama administration pushes for the passage of the bipartisan bill “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act.
The DREAM Act is intended to help undocumented individuals have an opportunity to enlist in the military or go to college and have a path to citizenship which, they otherwise would not have without this legislation.
qualify, the undocumented immigrant student must have entered the United States
before the age of 16 (15 and younger); must have been living in the US for at
least five years prior to the passage of the bill, must have graduated from a
United States high school, or have obtained a GED, or have been accepted into
an institution of higher education (college/university); Must be between the
ages of 12 and 35 at the time of application; and must have good moral
character with no criminal record.
Once this bill is enacted into law, qualified undocumented students obtain Conditional permanent Residency. Conditional Permanent Residency is similar to Legal Permanent Residency in that the students would be able to work, drive and travel. However, it lasts for only 6 years and the students will not be able to travel abroad for long periods of time. The current legislation states that a person can travel abroad up to 365 days in total for the entire 6 years under Conditional Permanent Residency. They will also be eligible for student loans and federal work-study programs, but will not be eligible for federal financial aid such as Pell Grants.
DREAM Act Portal outlines the pathway to citizenship. The student needs to 1. Enroll in an institution of higher education in order to pursue a bachelor's degree or higher degree , OR 2.Enlist in one of the branches of the United States Military. Within 6 years of approval for conditional permanent residency, the individual must have completed at least two (2) years of one of the options outlined in the previous step.
Once 5 ½ years of the 6 years have passed, the individual will then
be able to apply for Legal Permanent Residency (dropping the conditional
part) and consequently will be able to apply for United States
Citizenship.Those who have already completed at least 2 years of college
education towards a bachelor's degree or higher degree, will still have
to wait the 5 ½ years in order to apply for Legal Permanent Residency
even though you may have already obtained a degree.
Supporters of the bill believe it is vital, not only to undocumented immigrants who will directly benefit from this measure, but also the United States as a whole. This, they assert, will give an opportunity for undocumented immigrant students who have been living in the United States since they were young, a chance to give back to the country that has given so much to them, and an opportunity to use their hard-earned education and talents to make their lives in America better as productive citizens of this country.
But Republicans opposed the Obama Administration position of sparing the young illegal immigrants in school from deportation, or any measure to this effect as this would weaken the enforcement of immigration laws. “The administration appears to want to pick and choose what laws they will follow and which ones they don’t,” said Representative Brian P. Bilbray, Republican of California, who is chairman of a House immigration caucus. “They are trying to legislate from the White House,” he said.
ICE reports that the Obama administration has accelerated the pace of deportations over all. In 2009, the authorities deported 389,834 people, about 20,000 more than in 2008, the final year of the Bush administration. The White House also says that this administration has deployed more patrols than his predecessors to secure the border.
President Obama, however, continues to push for the passage of a Comprehensive Immigration Reform Law to address the problem of illegal immigration in the country which will secure the borders, require employers responsible in hiring only those who are in the country legally, and give a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants with no criminal records, so long as they come out, pay fines, learn English, pay taxes, and wait at the back of the line in processing their citizenship application.
Republicans maintain that authorities should pursue and deport ALL
immigrants who are here illegally, young and old, in school or not. This, they
say, is the only way to solve the country’s serious illegal immigration
debate will continue to divide, even the Filipino-American community. Our
kababayans who immigrated to the US the legal way -- following all the rules,
waiting a long time, paying all the fees, working long hours and paying all
taxes dutifully -- are so much against anybody, even among our own, who get
away with breaking the law.
many of our undocumented Filipinos in America, especially students who, as
minor children did not have control over their parents' action to bring them
here illegally; those young people who have lived here most
of their lives--- all they want is to be able to have a chance to become
responsible citizens of this country. One that they have come to love and call