department of homeland security

department of homeland security

DACA, 2 Years Later: Yaquelin Valencia

1d ago
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Produced by Edgardo Cervano-Soto, Richmond Pulse Producer's Note: This summer marked the 2 year renewal period for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA applicants. According to the US Department of Homeland Security, U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services reports a total of 638,054, requests (more than a half million) since President Obama’s announcement of DACA on June 15, 2012. However, according to the Migration Policy Institute, 45% of the estimated 1.2 million eligible immigrants have yet to apply. Richmond Pulse caught up with Yaquelin Valencia, a community organizer, student and recipient of DACA. Yaquelin arrived to the United States at the age of 2 from Mexico and has never returned to see her parent’s homeland. Prior to DACA, from 2010-2012 following her graduation from Kennedy High Yaquelin lived in the U.S as an undocumented American. She worked many jobs to support her family and her efforts to attend community college, which often hit a financial challenge. Yaquelin was also involved with local Richmond organization CCISCO, or Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organizing as a volunteer. When DACA was announced, Yaquelin joined Community Leaders Organizing Undocumented Dreamers or (CLOUD) to support outreach efforts. Her intensive work and organizing had Yaquelin driving throught the East Bay, often placing her in a state of paranoia of being stopped on the road. In December of 2012, Yaquelin applied to DACA for herself. Her application was approved in 2013, and shortly Yaquelin obtained a drivers license. In addition to returning to community college, she now felt safe to drive and continue her work and organizing in the East Bay. Yaquelin is a student at Contra Costa College, and is an active board member for CCISCO. The last two years of DACA have given Yaquelin a sense of security when driving and the ability to return to school. While the renewal period is currently open, the future of immigration reform remains uncertain. President Obama and the United States Congress has yet to act on any movement towards immigration reform leaving DACA recipients to wonder what will happen in 2016, and whether DACA remains a viable option to gaining citizenship or just a temporary piecemeal offer. featuring music by: "Afrikaans" by C. Scott (http://cscott.bandcamp.com/) "Steak Fingers" by C. Scott (http://cscott.bandcamp.com/) "Family Tree" by Jahzzar (http://www.betterwithmusic.com) "Enjoyable to Know" by C. Scott (http://cscott.bandcamp.com/) "Catch Feelings" by C. Scott (http://cscott.bandcamp.com/)