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DACA, Newest Addition to Discussion on U.S. Immigration Reform

By Esther Honig, Crosscurrents, KALW

When you are undocumented in this country, it usually means you carry around a very big secret. So naturally, even when the president says he’s getting serious about immigration reform – as he did recently in Nevada – it’s still hard for undocumented people to believe they might find a legal place in society.

In June, the Obama administration issued an executive order called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

“It’s a way from undocumented you to really come out of the shadows to ideally be able to put their education and their experience to use in a productive setting,” President Obama said.

Marillia Zelner helps students apply for DACA in California, which basically gives young people a chance to get a temporary work permit. California has the largest number of DACA participants so far, but initially the turnout was low. The strict guidelines and two-year limit of the work permit made applying for DACA a risky venture for many undocumented young people. In Zelner’s eyes, this program is more than just a legal undertaking.

Read the complete story at Crosscurrents, KALW