In December 2004 after escaping poverty and violence twelve-year-old Camila (name changed for privacy) arrived in the United States undocumented. After completing high school, she attended college and earned her degree in nursing. At this moment, she works as a nurse in one of the hospitals in the area. Camila was able to achieve her dream of becoming a nurse because she is a beneficiary of the DACA program.
What is DACA and why is it important?
DACA, an acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a policy that protects around 800,000 young people — known as “Dreamers” — who entered the United States as children. The program does not grant them official legal status or a pathway to citizenship, but it does allow them to study and work.
On June 15, 2012, the secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.
Many of the young “Dreamers” are now young professionals that are supporting our economy. We are so proud of Camila for achieving her dream of becoming a nurse.
Learn more about Catholic Charities Jacksonville’s immigration program – which is recognized by the Department of Justice (DOJ) – provides affordable, fee-based services to individuals by or under the supervision of a DOJ accredited representative to renew their Green Cards or employment authorization cards, file family petitions and help immigrants find a path to citizenship.