KANSAS CITY, Mo. — President Obama says that deporting good people brought to this country illegally when they were just kids just doesn’t make sense to him. His order stops deportation of qualified undocumented young people.
So why are some of those young people still fighting for the Dream Act? They say it’s because the president’s Deferred Action is a temporary solution to a permanent problem.
A group of young people who themselves have dealt with immigration problems and even faced deportation are marching across the country to draw attention to the problem.
“I arrived to the country at age 16,” says Alex Aldana.
He says that’s the problem. The president’s order is only for people brought to the U.S. before age 16.
“I would not qualify because of my age,” says Aldana. “My record is clear, I’m going to higher university and I’ve done community work. Just because of that age, they could start deportation proceedings.”
Another one of the young marchers recently faced deportation himself. He was picked up while on his college campus studying for his finals.
“With this deferred action program, it would open my case and grant me deferred action,” says Jonathan Martinez. “Which means it would stop my deportation and give me a work permit for two years and allow me to undeportable for two years. But the reason why I push for something more is what’s going to happen after those two years?”
Gilbert Guerrero is superintendent of Alta Vista Schools, and says the president’s order helps many of his students brought the country as children, but it also leaves some uncertainty.
“There’s still the questions when they graduate, can they work, can they stay,” he says. “There’s a lot of ‘what ifs’ so I think these students are working for a permanent fix.”
“We’re not going to stop until the Dream Act is reintroduced and passed,” says Martinez.
The marchers started in San Francisco and hope to march into Washington D.C. on November second, just in time for the election.