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DACA Field Report

Youth Migrant Farmworkers Ineligible for DACA

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As hundreds of thousands of youths begin applying for DACA,
there are still thousands who are deemed ineligible to apply. These individuals
in question satisfy all requirements for DACA except one. They are not
currently in school, do not have high school diplomas or GED certificates, nor
are they honorably discharged veterans of the United States Coast Guard or
Armed Forces of the United States. These undocumented youths entered the
country before their sixteenth birthday, have resided in the country
continuously not only since 2007 - the year set in the DACA guidelines - but since
the time of their entry, they have never been convicted of any felonies and are
under the age of thirty-one. These youths are what are known as migrant
farmworkers. Working from the budding age of eleven or twelve, these children,
out of compulsion, joined their families in the agricultural industry in order
to supplement their family's income. Working full-time - usually long hours -
and under hazardous conditions, those fortunate few who were able to attend
school were not so fortunate after all. Due to their constant migration, these
children would change up to three schools in a given school year. This disables
them from keeping up with classwork, maintaining a decent attendance record,
and thusly, maintaining decent grades. As a result, the drop-out rates for
migrant child farmworkers is four times the national average.


 


With no high school diploma, or an equivalent certification,
these migrant farmworkers are rendered ineligible for DACA. However, they are
working out of compulsion. If given the opportunity to attend school, these
children would, like their urban and suburban counterparts, take advantage of
that opportunity. Do you think it is fair, then, that these individuals are
still ineligible to apply for DACA? Share your thoughts!

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Comments

  1. grace's Avatar
    Don't know if I am missing something, but my understanding is that the Administration said "at the time of application" they had to be enrolled. In other words, if they signed up for September GED classes, they could apply no matter how long it takes...I am probably missing something, but wanted to offer this commentary
  2. Grady Gauthier's Avatar
    I agree with the above comment. They should be eligible to apply if they enroll in a state or federally funded adult school GED program prior to applying and document proof of enrollment with the application.
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