The Main Stream

Dec 6, 2012 8:41 PM by Erika Flores

"Don't Leave them Behind" campaign

TUCSON - "Dreamers" rejoiced when deferred action was announced.

It's a policy that allows eligible undocumented immigrants who were brought here as a child to go to school and work freely for at least two years, but some are running into obstacles with the process.

"Dreamers," teens and adults who spent most of their life in the U.S. are more hopeful than ever to apply for deferred action, but some like Josue Salidivar just can't afford it.

Josue Saldivar was born in Agua Prieta, Sonora but calls Tucson home.

He's lived here since he was eight.

His father struggles month-to-month to pay the rent and the only way out of poverty is an education.

"Right now I'm a business major, so I'm looking forward to working in the nonprofit industry," said Saldivar.

But the only way to accomplish that dream is to be considered for deferred action in childhood arrivals.

If accepted, Homeland Security can grant him at least two more years in the United States where he can work legally even if he came to the United States illegally as a child, so far, ICE has accepted nearly 300 thousand cases nationwide and has received just over 11 thousand from Arizona.

"My community has contributed a lot to my future and my education, so I'm just looking to give back in that way," said Saldivar.

But there's one problem: "The application fee would be the equivalent of a month's rent for us," said Saldivar.

That fee is $465.

It's a big sum for many "dreamers" which is why Chicanos por la Causa is teaming up with other community organizations to help.

"Our effort is let's get them through the system so they can contribute to our economic well being," said Magdalena Verdugo with Chicanos por la Causa.

Chicanos por la Causa hopes to raise 100 thousand dollars by the end of December to help 215 "dreamers" with their application fee.

So far they've collected $20 thousand.

The money they collect will go directly to ICE for the application fees.
For more information on CPLC's "Don't Leave Them Behind"
campaign, click here:
http://www.cplc.org/

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