Photo: Still from the video
A group of pro-immigrant activists in Chicago on Tuesday released an informational video warning about the possible dangers of deferred action, which on Wednesday will begin to register undocumented young people who want to try and postpone deportation.
The video, “Defer the Bulls—t,” may be seen online at www.moratoriumondeportations.org and is an effort to resist the government’s alleged disinformation campaign about the program.
“While some youth may have a chance at relief, Deferred Action is at best insufficient, and at worst misleading, dangerous and deliberately deceptive,” said Jose Herrera of the Moratorium on Deportations Campaign on Tuesday.
Some 20 members of various groups gathered in front of Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters in Chicago to denounce the president for “using immigrants as guinea pigs for his own political gains.”
The activists also criticized Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, who on Wednesday in Chicago will hold a huge registration drive for youths hoping to take advantage of deferred action to postpone deportation.
Herrera said that in the promotional activities for the event the possible - that is, non-guaranteed - postponement of deportations in accord with deferred action is erroneously linked with the DREAM Act, which remains stalled in Congress.
The deferred action policy “is not a law, it does not have the protection of a law,” he said.
According to the activists, the documents released by the Department of Homeland Security clearly state that even young people who fulfill the requirements for deferred action can be rejected and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation, at the discretion of the government.
ICIRR said that at its event on Wednesday, which will be attended by Gutierrez, Sen. Richard Durbin and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, undocumented youths will be encouraged to request deferred action but also to seek legal assistance regarding their own particular immigration situation.
Meanwhile, Gutierrez’s press spokesman, Douglas Rivlin, said that the congressman wants young people to attend the event to sign up for deferred action and to consult experts about it.
The deferred action program is open to undocumented immigrants 30 years old and younger who were brought to the United States before the age of 16.
Applicants will need five years of continuous residence in the country, a high school diploma or GED, and proof of current or previous military service or college enrollment.
Those seeking deferred action will also have to submit fingerprints and other biometric data and undergo an extensive background check, as well as pay a fee of $465.