Afraid to 'dream'
TAMPA — Carlos Roa celebrated this summer when the Obama administration announced a new programme to defer deportation for young undocumented immigrants.
But two months into the programme, the 25-year-old activist has yet to apply.
Roa, whose parents brought him here from Venezuela when he was two, is facing many of the same worries and complications as thousands of the other young immigrants, who call themselves “Dreamers” after the failed Dream Act legislation of 2010 that sought to put them on a path to citizenship.
Stepping out of the shadows may identify other family members as undocumented and put them at risk of deportation.
And after living for years under the radar, sometimes working off the books, immigrants can find it difficult to assemble all the documentation needed to prove their “continued presence” in the US for at least five years, as the law requires.
Further, some eligible young people have decided to wait until after the November 6 election to file papers, worried that if Republican candidate Mitt Romney becomes president he might cancel or modify the executive order, leaving them vulnerable to prosecution.
Since August 15, when the federal government began accepting applications, through October 10, almost 180,000 people submitted requests. So far 4,591 have been approved, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS. (Reuters)