07/08/2014: UNDOCUMENTED FILIPINO YOUTHS SHYING AWAY FROM DACA FOR FEAR OF DEPORTATION
6 August 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Undocumented Filipino youths are reluctant to take advantage of the opportunity for them to temporarily stay and find work in the United States under the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) because of fears that this could make them and members of their families vulnerable to possible deportation.
The Philippine Embassy said this concern was raised by several members of the Filipino Community who attended a DACA information session at the Romulo Hall that it hosted last week.
In its last quarterly report issued in March, the US Citizenship and Immigration Seervice said that only 4,041 Filipinos have applied for DACA and of this number, 3,644 have been approved. The Migration Policy Institute placed the estimated eligible Filipino youth population at around 20,000.
"Apprehensions about what could happen to them and their families once they make their status known to US authorities continues to be a major cause for alarm among potential DACA youth, preventing them from applying," said Consul Arlene Magno.
Questions as well as concerns of the Filipino Community were addressed by Tatyana Delgado of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., David Chung of Own the Dream, and Gloria Williams-Brevard, Community Relations Officer of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Brevard said Filipinos should set aside their fears since DACA is available now and should be taken advantage of by those who are eligible to apply.
For her part, Delgado said DACA is not an enforcement tool nor a program used to go after the undocumented, unless one is determined to be a threat to public safety. She added that if someone's application gets denied, no further action would be taken against the applicant.
Magno said the Embassy continues to encourage eligible Filipinos to apply for DACA through its DACA awareness campaign, the next event of which is a DACA Clinic on 16 August 2014.###