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School District Opens Office To Process Requests From Undocumented Students

Aired 9/4/12 on KPBS News.

The office will issue the school documents students need to qualify for the government's work permit and deportation reprieve program.

On Tuesday, the San Diego Unified School District began processing requests for transcripts needed by undocumented students applying for the federal deferred action program, also known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
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Above: On Tuesday, the San Diego Unified School District began processing requests for transcripts needed by undocumented students applying for the federal deferred action program, also known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

— It’s been a few weeks since the federal government issued application guidelines for its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which grants work permits and reprieve from deportation for young undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.

The rush has begun among young people looking to apply, and on Tuesday the San Diego Unified School District opened an office to manage and process the flood of requests for school records from prospective applicants.

A key requirement for people applying for the federal program is proving they attended high school in the U.S.

Bea Fernandez, who is coordinating the district office, said San Diego Unified is expecting transcript requests from about 10,000 of the roughly 30,000 people estimated to be eligible for the federal program countywide.

Throughout Tuesday morning, young people trickled into the office at the Ballard Parent Center in Old Town, their parents tagging along, carrying files of documents they’ve gotten together since the government released the application.

Fernandez said some of her time has been taken up ensuring school documents meet federal requirements to the letter.

The name on an applicant’s birth certificate, for example, has to match the name on school records exactly. But in Mexico, it’s common to include a mother’s name on official documents, which is rare in the States.

“When I started school, my parents just put my first name and my last name. But on my birth certificate it has both last names,” said Jackie, a 19-year-old who asked that her name be withheld because she hasn’t been approved for the program. “So here I am trying to fix that.”

Fernandez said that, provided with proper documentation, the school district is willing to make those kind of tweaks to ensure applicants have the documents they need. The office does not help applicants fill out the federal application.

The office is located at 2375 Congress Street in Old Town, and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Comments

Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | September 4, 2012 at 5:13 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I think it's good we're making it easier for people to obtain citizenship, but shouldn't we do more to curb illegal immigration in order for the situation to get worse? This doesn't appear to be the answer for the long run.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | September 4, 2012 at 5:14 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Correction: Shouldn't we do more to curb illegal immigration to prevent the situation from getting much worse?

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Avatar for user 'Dothscribble'

Dothscribble | September 5, 2012 at 7:50 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I can rest assured that all expenses related to this whim of the Tsar will be paid by his re-election campaign; right?
There's nothing like living in a democracy!

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | September 5, 2012 at 11:51 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Gothscribble, Obama doesn't need them for votes, Repubs doing just fine shooting themselves in the foot:

Fact Check: Paul Ryan misleads on debt panel's spending cut plan ...

www.cnn.com/2012/08/30/politics/fact-check-ryan.../index.html

5 days ago – Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan attacked the growth of the federal debt on President Barack Obama's watch

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | September 5, 2012 at 3:40 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Seems to me that a practical ongoing solution to this ongoing problem is to continue to deport undocumented immigrants who are arrested for committing crimes in the United States, as we have been doing for some time now. But if you want more done, what more did you have in mind, Harry? And who should pay for it?

Keep in mind: due to either the slowing economy, increased border patrol, or a combined effect of both, immigration to the U.S. has slowed: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2250/mexican-immigration-immigrants-illegal-border-enforcement-deportations-migration-flows

Dothscribble, would you like to propose a solution, or do you just like to see yourself complain?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | September 5, 2012 at 5:51 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

What a great program!

The government will soon have a complete profile including names, addresses, family data, and fingerprints for thousands of previously unknown illegal aliens!

Makes it so much easier to deport them in 2 years.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | September 5, 2012 at 5:59 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm guessing Ilk will ask me for a solution:

Expanded foreign work permits. Apply online to be matched up with a specific job, work for a predetermined time period in that secured job, pay taxes, then return to your home country to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Simple. Efficient. Fair.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | September 6, 2012 at 9:35 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Glad you like Obama's program, CA Off.

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | September 6, 2012 at 12:26 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like the only difference between Obama's program and program of the guy who claims to Defend California is that Obama's doesn't spend extra money matching applicants up with jobs. Obama lets the workers find their own jobs, like they're already doing.

"Simple, efficient, and fair" is exactly how I'd describe Obama's Deferred Action program.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | September 6, 2012 at 12:50 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Doesn't the DAP preferentially target people who are already here vice allowing an open competition for those foregin work permits?
It seems to be rewarding those who cut to the front of the line.

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