Childhood Arrivals

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The American Declaration of Independence proudly proclaims what has become an iconic quote, and the cornerstone of American culture and government, “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (United States of America, 1776). However, a debate arises when applying such a statement to those who entered the country without following the legal pathway. Immigrants, both legal and illegal, often cross the borders of countries with not only themselves but a family in tow. In these families, children are not uncommon; a 2010 study revealed that there are an estimated 1 million unauthorized child immigrants in the United States, …show more content…

Due to this, to be considered a valid applicant for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, there are many considerations that must be taken. First and foremost, the applicant must have been younger than 31 as of the time the act was implemented on June 15, 2012. The second standard to apply is that the applicant must be able to prove that they had moved to the United States of America before they turned sixteen, without leaving the country for extended periods of time; as such a rule ensures that the DACA application applies to its intended subjects: immigrants that moved to the United States of America illegally as minors and have lived in America since. The applicant must be present in the United States both at the time that the act was solidified into law as well as the date of their application. In addition to all the logistical sides of the application, the applicants must prove that they are a positive influence on their community, state, and country; this was defined as working towards ones undergraduate or postgraduate degrees, having a high school diploma/GED, and/or have been part of the United States Military or Coast Guard. Applicants must also be receiving an education or serve in the military, showing that they are dedicated to working towards success and being an upstanding person for their duration in America. Finally, the immigrants must be able to prove that they have not surpassed the restrictions of a criminal record. The crimes that would exclude an immigrant include: felonies of any type, significant misdemeanors (resulting imprisonment for more the five days but less than a year, including domestic or sexual violence, illegal firearms or drug possession, driving under the

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