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Deferred action program: one young woman’s success story

The Deferred Action program really does work. Many young Minnesota immigrants are among thousands around the country who have applied for the program, which offers a two-year waiver to prevent deportation and gain work permits or the ability to pursue further schooling.

Some of those who applied earlier this year have already bee approved. Minnesota Public Radio recently reported on one such immigrant, a young woman from St. James, Minnesota, who has obtained a work authorization card through the Deferred Action program.

The 22-year-old woman was so excited to have her request approved that she almost didn’t believe it to be real. But it is real.

The young woman applied last summer, almost as soon as official applications were allowed. To make her case, she had to submit a considerable amount of paperwork. For example, she had to show that she did not have a criminal history.

She also had to show that she had resided in the U.S. since arriving with her parents thirteen years ago at age 9. School records are one of the sources many immigrants use to provide this proof. The young woman from St. James also used newspaper clippings, as the local paper had written a story about her when she was the high school homecoming queen.

Gathering the documents in order to submit them is only part of the challenge, however, for those applying for Deferred Action. Another part is the willingness to go on record as having entered the country illegally. For those who applied before the election, that took courage because the Deferred Action program could easily have been discontinued if President Obama had lost.

Now, however, the young woman from St. James has not only graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College. She has a two-year work authorization card in hand.

Source: “Young immigrant’s journey leads to permission to stay,” MPR News, Jennifer Vogel, 12-12-12

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