Very few people are neutral on the topic of immigration. Many lobby for stronger immigration reform, while others like the ways things are. No matter which side of the issue they are on, many are not sure of exactly what deferred action for dreamers is all about.

Dreamers are defined as being young immigrants who are undocumented. They have come to this country for various reasons. Some want to be with family members, others want to become educated in our schools and universities. Almost all want to become legal citizens.

Laws that let these young undocumented immigrants stay temporarily without the fear of deportation are referred to as deferred action. In June of 2012, President Obama used his executive power to order that these young immigrants be allowed to stay for a 2 year time period with no possible deportation. Hundreds of thousands applied for this opportunity. Certain specific criteria must be met for acceptance. This fails to help, however, the over eleven million of all ages who also desire legal status.

This allowed for many positive benefits for these people. They are eligible to get a driver’s license in most states and can get work legally, or attend a college. This has been a great relief for those who are here for legitimate reasons. They do not have to stay in the shadows with fear because they do not have legal documents to be here.

A special act called the Dream Act was proposed in 2010. This would have allowed these young immigrants the ability to be legal citizens. However, it did not get enough votes in the Senate to pass. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is a temporary act that passed. However, it has caused many problems in its implementation.

DACA is frequently criticized because it seems to discriminate when compared with other avenues that lead to this status. Health care is one area where the treatment is much different. A young pregnant female under DACA had the right to give birth in any hospital, but she is still denied the right to get prenatal care. Those receiving deferred status by way of other avenues are given the right to receive prenatal care. Most under DACA are treated much as those who have no documentation even though they can legally acquire a driver’s license and/or work permit. Many feel they are being illegally discriminated against.

Congress has a number of bills on this issue. However, most believe they will all have a hard time being passed. Congress is notorious for stalling these issues in committee so that passage is impossible. Strong proponents on immigration reform want immigrants of all ages with no documents to have an avenue to relieve their fear of deportation. This would include all who are free from crime, and who are working legitimately. It is believed by some that if Congress continues to stall on this issue, That the President might invoke a more specific executive order. The President, however, denies any plans to do this.

Deferred action for dreamers is a complicated matter. Although it does give short term relief to some of our immigration problems, it certainly is only a temporary solution. It also only affects young immigrants. Dreamers and others in this country without documents are in a kind of limbo. They do not really know what the future will hold for them. Some type of permanent solutions are needed for this very important issue.

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