Involuntary immigrants the point of the President's immigration policy

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Involuntary immigrants the point of the President's immigration policy

CREATED Jun 15, 2012

Reporter: Craig Smith

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - There is a human face to this issue.  It's the thousands of young people who are in this country illegally, but did not choose to break the law.  They came here with their parents.

Jose Christian Villegas-Moreno is just the sort of person the policy change would affect.  He didn't decide to stay in the U-S illegally.  His parents did.

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked: "How old were you when your parents brought you here?" 

Villegas: "I was three years old." 

Smith: "Do you really know any other country than here?"

Villegas: "No.  I know there by pictures.  That's about it.  I've been here all my life."
He played football for Tucson High.  His playing was good enough to open some doors for him, that his immigration status shut.

"I got a U of A scholarship and unfortunately I couldn't take it."
And now, without legal status, he can't legally hold a job either.
President Obama's policy change is meant to help young people like Christian Villegas, who didn't choose to come to the U-S.  They came to because their parents brought them.
The President's policy is meant to help people who have the qualities of a good citizen even though they are not citizens.  They are not breaking laws other than immigration laws, they are in school now, or have at least a high school education.  They may have served in the U-S Military.
Villegas and young people like him call themselves Dreamers, for the proposed law called the DREAM act which would help people like them become citizens.
The President's policy change doesn't offer citizenship so it doesn't go as far as the Dream Act but for Villegas it's a start.

He says, "I know there's a lot of people out there that are not happy with this but you know, it's gonna be for something good. I believe because, not just me but other Dreamers, that right now they're struggling, graduating that want to keep on going with their lives and they're actually getting scholarships and they can't accept them."

This policy is not as simple as you meet a short list of requirements, so you're all set.  There is an intricate batch of rules for the immigrant, and immigration authorities; and each person's case is supposed to be reviewed every two years.

It does not give an illegal immigrant legal resident status. The rules very specifically say they don't get legal status.  The government describes it as "deferred action" meaning officials have the legal authority to deport someone, but they won't deport someone if they qualify for the program.