Third anniversary of DACA sets new goals of outreach for Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia
Today marks the third anniversary of President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA). With this in mind Carlos Giralt Cabrales, Consul of México in Philadelphia, held a press conference to talk about the efforts of the Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia for the implementation of this immigration policy.
“While we deeply regret that currently the two executive actions by President Obama, one known as the expanded DACA and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) are temporarily blocked by a court order, it is important to stress that the original DACA initiative remains in force and continues to benefit thousands of young Mexicans,” Giralt-Cabrales said.
The Consul stated that approximately 851,000 Mexicans in the United States had applied for DACA, out of which 578,000 were initial applications and 273,000 were renewal applications. In Pennsylvania 7,800 application have been accepted, and almost 6,500 approved.
“But I would like to highlight that to this date there are literally thousands of young people who qualify for this immigration policy and have not applied. We all have an obligation to promote this benefit and make sure our young people are aware of it,” Giralt-Cabrales said.
Two young Dreamers who gained access to DACA were also present at the press conference. Both Gabriela Pedroza and Sergio Davila shared their experiences and how the program changed their lives.
Pedroza is originally from Mexico City and was brought to the United States when she was 5 years old. “I been living in this country for almost 23 years. For me DACA has been a blessing, it lifted a big burden from my shoulders. I was able to get a better job as an attorney’s assistant, now I have driver's license and I can drive without fear of being stopped by the police.”
She is also the single mother of a 6-year-girl. One of her main concerns before applying to the program was not being able to volunteer at her daughter’s school. “Now I have an ID and social security number, and can participate in the school’s activities and go to her school whenever is needed.”
For Davila, gaining access to DACA meant leaving behind the anonymity under which he had lived for 10 years and the uncertainty of being able to pursue a college degree. “Although DACA does not provide a pathway to residency, it gives a voice and an opportunity to live without fear,” Davila said. “I can now drive without the fear of a traffic ticket turning into deportation.”
Both Dreamers called for other undocumented youth to take action and apply for the program. “This action can have an enormous impact in our lives. Fear is the only thing in our way to accomplish our goals,” Davila said.
You may request DACA if you:
-Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
-Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
-Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
-Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
-Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
-Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
-Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor,or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.