The following DACA field report comes from Carmen Cornejo of Dream Act Arizona:
Some days ago, during a DACA application drive organized by No DREAM Deferred Coalition, I found Chino...or Chino found me.
He was neatly dressed with a crisp blue shirt, vest, slacks and shiny black shoes. He was polite, assertive and inquisitive. He had all the necessary documentation to demonstrate his presence in the USA since his arrival in a neatly organized binder. He had done a better job collecting info than most applicants, yet his school records were missing.
Since coming to Phoenix at age 15, Chino has been working as a baker. He has not been attending school in the USA, all efforts concentrating on being his family's economic support. His English is limited and needs to access GED instruction in Spanish urgently in order to qualify for DACA. There are few available GED classes in Spanish in the Phoenix Metro area.
Chino represents a minority of DREAM Act youth and for now Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals applicants: most potential candidates have gone through the school system and are fluent in English, but not Chino and some few more.
His situation present several challenges. USCIS produced DACA information in Spanish and this is the link but most of the assumptions is that DACA applicants access the information in English and our volunteer, advocate efforts are focused on English speakers. We only explain the process in Spanish for the parents.
In the last 6 months I only heard of 3 cases of immigrant youth that hadn't have instruction in Spanish among the hundreds of young immigrants I come across. I believe Chino's situations is a extreme exception to the norm. This is not scientific assessment, just anecdotal.
On cases like Chino's we advocates need to step up to the challenge and provide extra guidance, caring support.
I connected with him through e-mail after the initial meeting. Thankfully he is not illiterate and has basic computer skills. He always ends his e-mails sending me blessings.
I will make sure that, in spite of his limitations, he gets on the right track: GED in Spanish first, then English lessons, simultaneously DACA and possibly more. I hope he will be willing to follow my advise.
DACA Field Report Blog carries field reports on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals from multiple sources.