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DACA Field Report

Chino The Baker

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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.


Carmen Cornejo


CADENA-ADAC Arizona


www.dreamactaz.org


 

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