Driver's license bill for eligible undocumented immigrants passes in California

If signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, deferred action participants would qualify for a state driver’s license.


Deferred action-eligible immigrants in Calif. might soon be qualify for a driver’s license through a bill that legislators passed and have sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for approval.

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Yes, I am an immigrant. Yes, I was illegal. No, not by choice, by circumstances. My parents are not to blame, they’ve worked their asses off for years trying to provide me with a better future, but all we’ve gotten back is a big kick in the ass. All three of us have worked for americans who mistreated us and underpaid us for years without complaining, dealing with their bullshit for so long and still managing to do what we had to do better than so many others.

Guess what. My DACA application was approved back in February but I still cannot go to school. Why? Because it is fucking expensive and I cannot get financial aid and it is required for me to pay out of state fees in college ($350-$400 per credit) and now republicans are trying to shut down the DREAM act?

Fuck everyone! I am so sick and tired of being told I cannot study just because I do not own a green card. I am a 21 year frustrated young woman who really wants to study and become someone in this world and is willing to work her ass off to get where she wants, but I keep being shut down and pushed and walked on by everyone else. I cannot take it anymore.


July 19, 2013


Five Deported DREAMers Will Attempt to Cross Border Monday

Calls to ‘Bring Them Home’ spreading nationwide

NATIONAL– Five deported DREAMers will attempt to return home by presenting themselves at the Nogales Port of Entry on Monday, July 22nd. The DREAMers will be joined by Lizbeth Mateo, Marco Saavedra and Lulu Martinez, activist who left this week in order to test the Obama Administration’s policy on deported immigrants. Supporters are planning ‘Bring Them Home’ echo rallies across the country.

When:  July 22nd @ 9:00 AM 
Where:  Corner of N. Sonoita Ave & Crawford Street (across McDonald’s), Nogales, Arizona

All of the students will be asking the Obama Administration to grant discretion and to allow them to return home.   “I was brought to Phoenix when I was four months old. My home is in Arizona, not here in Mexico,” said Adriana Diaz, one of the Dreamers set to take part in the action. “I am going to cross the border hoping that President Obama realizes there are lots of us dreamers stuck here in Mexico, even though we consider our home to be in the U.S.” All eight students will present themselves and ask that the Obama Administration use its discretion to parole them into the country. We have included bios of the five additional participants below. They will be available for interviews on Sunday evening. For interview requests, please email The participants:

Claudia Amaro, 37, from Monterrey, Mexico moved to Colorado when she was thirteen years old. Her mother fled Mexico after her father was murdered and the family was threatened. In 2006, while living in Wichita, Kansas, Claudia’s next husband was detained while driving to work. ICE detained Claudia while interpreting for her husband.

Living in Mexico has been hard for Claudia and her thirteen-year-old US citizen son. Finally, her mother gained legal status last year and was able to visit her grandson for the first time in seven years. Claudia is coming home to put the family back together that deportation tore apart. 

Adriana Diaz, 22, from Mexico City, first came to Phoenix, Arizona when she was just four months old. Adriana graduated from Crestview Preparatory high school in 2010 with many accolades, including the Citizenship Award. To this day, two of her murals decorate its walls. Adriana left Phoenix three months before DACA was announced. She left because she was tired of living in fear under Arpaio, not knowing each night if her mom was going to come home.

Once in Nogales, Adriana tried to go to school. Because she lived so long in the US, Mexico recognized her as a foreign student and would not accept her US degree. Instead of going to school, Adriana has been working with migrants at the Juan Bosco shelter in Sonora. Adriana is coming home because she has no memories in Mexico. Her entire life was in Phoenix—she has memories of school, birthdays, going to prom—even her partner of four years lives in Phoenix. Everyone deserves to come home.

Luis Gustavo, 20, from Michoacán, Mexico has lived in North Carolina since he was five years old. He graduated from McDowell High School. Luis left Marion, NC, in August 2011 with the hopes of being able to finally go to school in Mexico. Luis, not being able to stand being away from his family, tried to come home in June 2012 when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was announced.

Luis never made it; he was caught by border patrol. The responding agent sympathized with him, and filed for DACA on his behalf, but saw it rejected. Luis was subsequently deported. Desperate to come home, Luis attempted to re-enter three more times, and failed on each attempt. Luis is coming home to be with his mother, sister, and four brothers.

Maria Peniche, 22, from Mexico City first came to Boston when she was just ten years old. She graduated from Revere high school in 2010 and went on to attend Pine Manor College. By 2012, paying the high price of tuition became too difficult, and she dropped out. Three days before DACA was announced, Maria left for Mexico to continue her schooling. “Here in Mexico you can only do one thing, either work or go to school,” she said. Maria has had to put off her studies and work in order to provide for her family. Maria is coming home to provide for herself and her family, and pursue her education.

Ceferino Santiago, 21, came to Lexington, Kentucky, at the age of thirteen in order to be with his older brother, Pedro. Ceferino is a permanent part of the Lexington community; he helped paint a mural at one of the local middle schools. During high-school, Ceferino ran for the school cross country team and was honored as one of the program’s top student-athletes in 2010. After graduating from high school, Ceferino was forced to return to Oaxaca, Mexico because of an ear infection which required surgery that cost $21,000. Ceferino is coming home so he can be with his brother, his community, and to continue with his studies.

###   The National Immigrant Youth Alliance is an undocumented youth-led national network of activists fighting for the human rights of our communities. Our mission is to empower, educate, and escalate. We believe teaching our community how to fight for itself and nonviolent acts of civil disobedience are the most important tools for creating social change.
Stop the Deportation of the Lee and Rahayuningsih Families!

The Lee and Rahayuningsih families are facing deportation despite being low priority cases. Both families have children who qualify for Deferred Action and have loved ones with severe health issues.  Urge ICE to grant prosecutorial discretion and prevent separating more families!

This June, the Obama Administration granted undocumented youth with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which offers relief from deportation for up to two years.  The Lee and Rahayuningsih Family have children who are eligible for deferred action and are considered low priority cases.  These families should not be separated from young people who have just been granted relief.

Alex Lee and his family arrived in the US over fifteen years ago to flee persecution in Brazil. Alex was diagnosed with brain cancer last year causing blindness and limited mobility. Although he is eligible for deferred action to stay, he is unable to live independently.

“My son is unable to live on his own. We have no other family here or in Brazil. What use is his right to stay, if his caretakers are deported? ” says his mother Boi See Lee Choi.

Putri Dyannie’s family faces the same circumstances after arriving with her parents from Indonesia at age eleven.  Putri remembers little about Indonesia and her parents are her only family. She was granted deferred action and will transfer to a four-year university next year.  Her father is also being treated for cancer.

“My parents are my foundation. They are not less deserving than me. They work tirelessly to put me through college and without them. It pains me to think that they won’t be here to see me cross the stage on graduation day or witness me grow.”

The Lees and Rahayuningsihs have established their lives in the United States for over a decade. The family members could be separated indefinitely if ICE does not take action.

These deportations can be stopped. Sign the petition to tell ICE that these families matter and that they can do the right thing by granting prosecutorial discretion for families of youth with deferred action.

Call John Morton, Director of ICE -  202.732.3000 and

ICE’s Office of the Public Advocate 1.888.351.4024

Sample Script

“I am calling you to grant prosecutorial discretion for the Lee Family (lead A# 099-340-565) and Rahayuningsih Family (lead A#099-779-854).

Both the Lee and Rahayuningsih Families have been in the United States for over a decade. Their children were raised here and qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.  Both families have a loved one with a severe health issue and cannot be separated.  These are low priority cases and should be dismissed.  Don’t separate families and grant prosecutorial discretion.”

Help Us Spread the Word:  Our Families Matter

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Arizona's Jan Brewer denies driver's licenses to deferred action recipients

Gov. Jan Brewer and President Obama have a history of sparring over immigration.


Young undocumented immigrants in Arizona who are accepted into President Obama’s deferred action program shouldn’t celebrate quite yet.

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Help an undocumented student pay rent.

I’ve started an Indiegogo campaign to help raise some money after having to use all of my savings to apply for my DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Having the deferred action granted it would mean that I could get back into school and be able to apply to work at places I couldn’t before.

Unfortunately, applying isn’t easy. My application alone cost 500$ and takes 3-4 months just to be reviewed and decided upon. That’s 3-4 more months not having steady work and now I find myself in some debt. My goal isn’t too high because honestly what I’m worried about the most is having money for rent and food, but applying has set me back a bit.

I don’t have many followers but I need to help myself in any way that I can and sharing this could only do that. In the Indiegogo page are the pictures where you can see how much the applications are and some more info on the whole process. Thank you and remember sharing this is as good as donating!

USCIS Alert - United We Dream
Urgent Alert: About 1,500 People Could Lose Their DACA – Are You One of Them? USCIS put the wrong expiration date on about 2,500 work permits and demanding they be returned by July 30th in exchange for a corrected one. If they don’t – USCIS is threatening to take away their DACA status entirely. Confused? […]

Guys, please signal boost this so as many DREAMers as possible see this

Basically USCIS goofed and sent a bunch of DREAMers 3 yr work permits, instead of 2yr permits.  If a DREAMer received the wrong permit, and doesn’t exchange it by the 30th they could lose their DACA!



I am CRYING. I got approved, I never thought this would be possible. I got approved.

After 15 years of living in this country I call MY HOME, I can come out of the shadows. I have a CHANCE guys a chance.

This is a HUGE deal to me. MY GOD I can FINALLY have a drivers license, go to school get a legitimate job.

I am so happy, the big burden that was on my back has lifted, the anxiety, stress and fear is slowly fading away.

My Happiness cannot be contained, my tears are freely flowing now. This might just be one of the HAPPIEST days of my life.


It’s amazing how painful it is to wait for something I never had, for something that will give me a sense of belonging yet it will not define who I am.

Being undocumented has never hit me as hard as now because all my life I have had obstacles but somehow I’ve overcome them. Now that this so called permit is out I feel like I need it in order to keep accomplishing my dreams when in reality I have been doing great without it. 

Is it really just a card that I need to feel like I belong in a place I have had called home almost all my life?

It’s just an unexplainable feeling that only those in the same situation would know. I really do try to forget as if it never happened and when it comes it will be a surprise but its hard because with that card I can finally prove to those that have pushed me down that I am more than capable of accomplishing things just like them. I feel like I can finally feel equal to them when I really don’t need to. 

Patience is just something that I have lost throughout my life, but hope is something I will hold on to just a bit more. :)

An article from one of my favorite immigration reporters, Dara Lind: Here’s why you shouldn’t call Obama’s executive action “legalization” - Vox.

In particular, I’d note her remarks about how using the wrong terms to describe the new policies can encourage fraud by so-called “notarios,” non-lawyers who offer “legal” assistance.

“Deferred action” isn’t as appealing a hook for notarios — and furthermore, an immigrant who knows what she applied for isn’t at risk of accidentally committing fraud on a legal document later. But the more people talk about a new “legalization” program, the easier it is for notarios to tell immigrants they can get legal for only a few hundred (or thousand) dollars.

First deferred action applications approved ahead of schedule

The first wave of approvals comes much earlier than expected, and well before the November election. 


The U.S. government has approved some of the first cases of undocumented young people looking to stay in the United States through President Obama’s deferred action program. 

Keep reading

The Dream Act Policy. Whose Dream?

OK I just need to vent.

We’re getting ready to start doing Dream Act cases here.  Which means that I’m getting ready to start doing them, since I’m the only person in this office who will do immigration work.   I’m sitting here going through all of the forms that came out yesterday and re-reading the instructions, and making lists, and the 70 year old bookkeeper comes out and sticks her nose over my desk. And she has the nerve to tell me that THINGS ARE JUST TOO EASY FOR THESE PEOPLE.  That “these people,” essentially people who were brought here as children by family members and most likely had no say in the fact that they were crossing the border without inspection, should not be receiving any kind of relief whatsoever. 

Let’s back up a little bit.  

The new Dream Act policy, as it’s being called, is a form of prosecutorial discretion or deferred action.  That means that it is not a law, and even if applicants meet all of the requirements of the application, the USCIS may still decide not to approve their application—in which case, all of their information will be in the USCIS system. 

This policy is bullshit.  It charges these people over $400 to apply for the possibility of “deferred action,” the only benefit of which is a 2-year employment authorization, all of which can be REVOKED AT ANY TIME, WITHOUT NOTICE.  Like, for example, if Mitt Romney is elected president and decided he doesn’t like it.  Or any other such shenanigans. 

These are people who have gone to school here or served in the military here, who have most likely grown up here, who speak English, and who may not even remember what it is like to live in another country.  These are people who can make real, tangible contributions to our economy, society, and communities.  These are people who are immersed in American culture and have citizen friends, families, spouses, children.  So can someone please explain to me why they don’t deserve to be certain about their status?  Why they don’t deserve to have a way to obtain lawful status?  Why should they be jumping for joy about this fucking joke of a policy?  I’m glad that there is work authorization in this for people because it will make it easier for them to get legitimate jobs with fairer pay.  But I’m wary of any kind of application that explicitly states that even if you meet all of the requirements, your application can still be denied, JUST BECAUSE.  Especially when said application comes with a $400+ price tag. 

I’m really angry that the government is acting like they are giving people this huge GIFT, this huge WAY IN, when that is not what they’re giving at all.  These people will not be granted lawful status or any of the rights that come with that.  They cannot use this policy as a step toward gaining lawful status.  It’s a temporary fix which will legally allow illegal immigrants to work here and pay taxes to the government.  But they still don’t get any of the benefits that should come with that, like social security, or Medicaid, or state assistance, if and when they need it.  They are still ineligible for most tax credits, but are required to pay taxes.  They can still be taken into ICE custody and deported at any time, just for being present in the United States.  This policy offers them zero protection.  And from what I’ve seen of Obama’s “discretionary relief” policy in practice (which claims to require the Immigration Court to “exercise its discretion” when removing illegal immigrants who have citizen spouses and children and minor or no criminal record), I’m not very optimistic about this second discretionary policy.  Because you know how many times the Immigration Court has exercised its discretion on a case that meets the Obama policy requirements in the year that I’ve worked here?  ZERO.  And we have had more than a few that were great candidates.

Not only did the bookkeeper tell me she thought the government was making it too easy for these people, but she went on to say it was ridiculous that children born here of illegal parent(s) automatically received citizenship.

BACK THE FUCK UP BITCH.  So newborn babies, BORN IN THE UNITED STATES, should not have status if their parents don’t have status?  We should deport them to a country they were not born in, and have never seen, just because.

I can’t even dignify that shit with a response.  Those are my kids you’re talking about lady.  My kids, innocent of any crime, who had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that their father entered this country illegally.  Needless to say, when she said that, I had to shut up and look at my keyboard before I flipped the fuck out. 

Who are the 11.4 million immigrants living in the United States illegally?

Last week, the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute released data profiles that provide an answer. The study focused on immigrants who stand to benefit from President Obama’s recent executive actions, which defer deportation for up to 5.2 million illegal immigrants and grant them work permits.

read more… 


I know everybody is excited for tomorrow but I have an advice for some of you. TAKE YOUR TIME. I say that because there is only one chance with this application. If you get rejected, you are done. There is no appeal process and you can’t get them to reopen/reconsider your case (reapply) if you get rejected. I would much rather take my time and make sure everything on my application is 100% correct

 than rush to apply and make a mistake and get rejected. You can still apply next week or next month and there is no due date or deadline for the application. Talk to a lawyer if you have been trouble with the law or police before in the past, go get your background check if you’ve been in trouble before. Go get your passports and birth certificates and get it translated and go get all your necessary evidence. And to answer some common questions, no you will not be able to join the military or apply for FAFSA even if your Deferred Action is accepted. Good luck to everybody. - J. Kim