Archive for Friday, August 17, 2012

Program for undocumented immigrants expected to help some KU students

August 17, 2012


About the program

About the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program:

• It applies to undocumented immigrants 31 years old and younger who came to the United States before age 16 and have been in the country at least five years.

• To be eligible, immigrants must have a high school diploma or equivalent, or currently be enrolled in school and must never have been convicted of certain crimes.

• The program grants eligible immigrants a two-year work permit and prevents deportation for two years.

• It costs $465 to apply for the program, and decisions can take several months.

• Applications are available online at

Mauricio Gomez, retention specialist at the Kansas University Office of Multicultural Affairs, knows the stories firsthand.

Undocumented KU students, who aren’t eligible for federal financial aid, work and scrape together tuition money. They graduate but can’t find professional jobs in their field because they’re undocumented immigrants who moved to the United States, often at a very young age.

“It’s heartbreaking to see students who’ve excelled being unable to find a job,” said Gomez, who is also the staff adviser for the KU Hispanic American Leadership Organization, or HALO. “This is their home.”

But a recent move by the Obama administration might provide some help.

An executive order, which was signed by President Barack Obama in June and went into effect this week, provides two-year work permits — and temporarily prevents deportation — for immigrants who are 31 years old or younger and who were brought to the United States when they were under the age of 16. The program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, applies to undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least five years, who have completed high school or are in school, and who have not been convicted of certain crimes.

The Migration Policy Institute and Pew Hispanic Center estimate that as many as 1.7 million people could be eligible to stay in the U.S. and legally work under the new policy.

Jessica Prieda, an attorney with the Kansas City-based nonprofit legal organization Immigration Professionals, said the move has created excitement in the immigrant community.

“Our offices are being flooded,” Prieda said.

But the order falls short of the provisions of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, commonly referred to as the DREAM Act, which has failed to pass in Congress the past two years.

The DREAM Act, which immigration advocates say is model legislation for handling children of immigrants, provides a path to citizenship. The current program does not, and it’s unclear what the status of those who apply for the new program will be after the two-year reprieve.

“It feels more like a patch than a fix,” Gomez said.

There is some concern among immigrants who say that registering for the program will make them easily identifiable once the program ends and perhaps more likely to be targeted for deportation, Prieda said.

“There’s always a lot of rumors,” said Prieda, whose organization has been working to get the full facts of the program to the immigrant community in Kansas and Missouri. It’s not likely, she said, that the program will be reversed under a possible new presidential administration or sued to identify undocumented immigrants.

For undocumented youths, some of whom attend KU, the new program is progress, said Mauricio Puebla, KU sophomore president of HALO, who expects some KU students to apply for the program.

“It’s a step forward, but we still have a few more steps to go,” he said.


Dan Matthews 5 years, 10 months ago

"...and who have not been convicted of certain crimes."

Say what?...

jhawkinsf 5 years, 10 months ago

Everyone breaks laws from time to time. Whether it's cheating on taxes, speeding, whatever. Everyone does it. The only question remains is that if confronted by authorities, are we "man enough" or "woman enough" to suffer the consequences of our actions? Will we berate the IRS or will we pay our fine and move on? Will we berate the police who write the citation or will we pay the fine, pay the increased insurance and move on? Do we take responsibility for our actions or not?

squawkhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

"He who casts the first stone...". You know the rest.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 10 months ago

Some students who are American citizens will be denied admittance to make room for these illegal aliens. Don't you just love it when the current regime rules by fiat?

tomatogrower 5 years, 10 months ago

There aren't any Kansas citizens denied a place at KU, unless they just screwed off high school. If an Illinois student gets turned down to allow a kid in, whose parents brought them to Kansas when they were little, and who paid Kansas taxes for years gets turned down, so what? The Illinois parents weren't paying Kansas taxes all those years.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 10 months ago

No they won't, but that's a good talking point. KU has plenty of room.

squawkhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Sounds like a great way to offset the declining enrollment. Viva la Raza!

tomatogrower 5 years, 10 months ago

Probably. The do nothing Congress won't act on anything. You think it's ok for the Arizona governor to do something, because Congress won't act, but it's bad because President Obama is doing something, because Congress won't act.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 10 months ago

I hope so. Presidents have had to resort to this lately. Relative gridlock on selected topics has been common for quite some time.

squawkhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, this is the same kind of crap that your grandparents or great grandparents had to deal with when they migrated to this country...close mined bigots. Seems like it turned out ok for you though. I guess that's all that matters.

Brittanicus 5 years, 10 months ago

DON’T Gripe & Complain—Join the TEA PARTY and end this farce of our laws?

Never has there been a time in our history, when a need for change is so imperative. We can follow President Obama handing out food stamps to anybody who applies, including illegal aliens and their friends who dodge the border agents or arrive here never to return home on an airline flight. We can in perpetuity keep financing pregnant females who flood here in the thousands to have their unborn babies, clogging up our hospitals and then later paying for the child’ education. In addition with 43 million Americans jobless, are we unfortunately obligated by federal mandate to offer health care, schooling and a matrix of other welfare programs, to unlawful residence or are going to join the TEA PARTY and articulate our demands to both the Democrats and Republicans. Are we so inept that we are going to allow Obama’s Czars steal our independent lifestyle, by allowing yet another mass amnesty force itself bypassing the Congress? This country doesn’t even fully care for our troops when they return from overseas; however people that have broken our immigration laws get a better deal?

Two omnipotent laws that can change illegal immigration forever, is ‘THE LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT ‘and ‘THE BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP BILL’ which are held to ransom in the House chambers, waiting for a reading. E-Verify will send illegal aliens scattering to the four winds and home, while the foothold baby law, if enacted will close a giant loophole, so every baby will not gain citizenship if one or more parent is not a citizen themselves? Americans are being taxed out of existence paying for the most expensive portion of illegal immigration, allowing every foreign child to gain immediate citizenship. If you think this is rhetoric initiated by the Republican Party, bother yourself for a few moments and read the actual costs for foreign nationals in Los Angeles, California?

squawkhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Maybe you should look at the numbers before spewing off a bunch of nonsense. If you look at the stats, the vast majority of people on welfare, food stamps, medicaid...etc. are uneducated, unemployed white people. Why don't we just ship them south of the border in exchange for these hard working and educated aliens?

White 38.8% Black 39.8 Hispanic 15.7 Asian 2.4 other 3.3

Brittanicus 5 years, 10 months ago

Then we have the Dream law, forced on to taxpayers by questionable orders from this administration? This is truly the consequences of no enforcement within America to any real degree. It is the indisputable consequences by not passing the Birthright Citizenship Bill? Since the 1986 blanket amnesty the American public has been lied too. Under the requirement of that law, there was supposedly mandatory enforcement in the interior of our country, but the Democrats/ Republicans would not fund it correctly. So businesses were not held accountable and the millions still poured through gaps in the fence and visa over stays were never tracked. Americans are disgusted and frustrated and that is why millions have joined the TEA PARTY, who is ready to change the direction of this country. Bring in to the ranks of Republicans a new breed of politicians, not carrying the burden of high pressure lobbyists and clandestine payments for their services. We need uncorrupted leaders and they are the advocates and leaders who represent the TEA PARTY. They are ousting the old school tie incumbents and unseating the political rot, which has condemned America in the Donkey and the Elephant parties. From now until remember we must be vigilant of illegal aliens allowed to vote, under deliberate blind eye of the Socialist-Marxist plot.

The only reason I am voting for MITT Romney is to filter the TEA PARTY into the GOP. I am no longer a Democrat, or have I been for a longtime. Both Parties in power hold the upper hand, through impossible odds of any other party gaining any impetus. So the only way to slip past the intentional manipulated restrictions is for the TEA PARTY to evolve through the Republicans.

Brittanicus 5 years, 10 months ago

The Constitutional TEA PARTY is open to all citizens and legal residents from every part of society, In the agenda—a new tax system for all; open season on drilling for oil, natural gas and mining for coal, with the progression of clean energy; protect Israel from attacks by Islamic terrorists; audit the Fed and reveal whatever they are hiding; from remove the stigma of bloated government and return agencies back to the state and county agencies; introduce federal law that every state, county and its constituency uses picture ID to vote; first priority to legal citizens and lawful residents, no more pandering to illegal aliens, which includes dissolving Sanctuary City practices; rewrite the chain migration policies, that is allowing elderly parents to apply for SSI and cash payments, that they have never paid into; reassess immigration laws, but for the benefit of the taxpayer, not businesses and radical ethnic organizations. Throw out of office all elected officials who are responsible to the illegal immigration invasion. Throw out of office President Obama and all his Socialist Czars who have brought America to its knees and will drive the United States into bankruptcy. It will always be the SAME EXCUSES from the two dominant parties to do little or nothing. Learn more at TEA PARTY DOT ORG. Understand with the costs and obligations of the 20 million plus illegal aliens at NumbersUSA. Investigate the rot and corruption that emanates in Washington at Judicial Watch dot org.

squawkhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm guessing that there will be many who are or will be doctors. Perhaps one will save your life one day...does that make you feel better?

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 10 months ago

I love how the reporter describes these kids and people "who moved to the United States, often at a very young age."

Because as we all know, if there's a group of people who pick up and move to another country, it's 4 and 5 year olds.

These kids didn't move to the US illegally. They were brought here. And they aren't items, they are human beings with college degrees. Which is the real issue the Kansas GOP has with them -- they have college degrees and can be productive members of society, two things the right-wing in this state has no experience with.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 10 months ago

So let me get this straight. We allow a significant number of young people permission to stay here while they complete their education. Some may enter the military and gain citizenship though service to this country. Those who remain may do so and become productive members of our society. This would sound very nice if we had to look no deeper.

Once these people become productive members of our society, once they return from serving our country overseas, we will then deport their parents as soon as they come into contact with authorities. We will deport those who originally brought them here, the original law breakers. We will deport the grandparents and older siblings who may be too old to qualify for the dream. We will rip families apart. We will tear care providers from those who are cared for. A retuning soldier who is comforted by family will have that comfort ripped from them. Right?

Or we can be honest. Once the dreamers are accepted, then will come the amnesty for their family, friends, support systems. Honestly, the only way this dream comes true is if the next step is taken and then the next. What we're really talking about is a blanket amnesty. We may do it piecemeal. Dreamers first, then close family, then less close family, then support systems. But in the end, it's a blanket amnesty for all. That's the road we're headed down.

We already had our one time amnesty. How many more one time amnesties will we need if we're setting this type of precedent?

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