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University Of Florida Students Defend DACA

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When he was a child, Giancarlo Tejeda came to Florida from Columbia with his parents on a tourist visa.

“In a sense it did start out as a vacation,” Tejeda said. “But it was then a matter of leaving a place where we thought we were unstable, unsafe.”

Tejeda’s family experienced firsthand the oppressive violence brought on by guerilla factions. The threat of violence coupled with economic instability led the Tejeda’s to apply for asylum during their stay.

“Given all these circumstances, we felt that it was more than enough to qualify for that measure,” Tejeda said.

Inefficient bureaucracy and a lawyer who didn’t file necessary paperwork correctly hindered the Tejeda’s attempt, and so, along with the rejection of their asylum request came a letter of deportation.

“But at that point we had already left our lives behind,” Tejeda said.

Tejeda, 20, is a recipient of the Obama-era immigration policy known as DACA, or, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

His eligibility to remain in the country expires in several months, he says.

Others like him have scrambled to apply for renewal following President Trump’s decision to rescind the program in September, and following the devastation and disruption caused by the major hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, DACA recipients whose deadlines are approaching have faced setbacks in the process.

Citing the October 5 deadline for DACA renewals, 38 senators called on the Trump administration to extend the deadline.

Senator Bill Nelson is one of three senators who are leading the group, along with Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) and Senator Menendez (D-NJ).

“These major hurricanes significantly disrupted day-to-day living operations these states and territories,” the three senators wrote in a letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke.

The extension would allow persons applying for renewal more time to gather the proper paperwork as well as the money for a $495 fee.

Diana Moreno, Assistant Director of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs at UF, said she knows of more than a few students at the university who were setback by the natural disasters.
“Students who have tried furiously to get the paperwork, money, legal help to be able to apply for the renewal of their DACA are worried now because of Hurricane Irma and everything it has delayed,” Moreno said.

The cost for renewal can quickly double from the initial 495-dollar fee if applicants seek legal help – which they do often, according to Giancarlo Tejeda.

“It would be very beneficial for those who’s DACA is set to expire,” Tejeda said of the efforts to extend the October 5 Deadline.

Tejeda, who serves as Vice President of external affairs for CHISPAS, an immigrant’s rights student organization, said the hurricanes also disrupted the grassroots efforts by DACA recipients, citing setbacks to a forum held on campus Tuesday about the rescinding of DACA and a rally held Thursday in support of the program.

At the rally Thursday, City Commissioner David Arreola was in attendance to shake hands and march in support of DACA.

“I think [they’re] doing the right thing in the Senate,” Arreola said of the lawmakers’ efforts. “The ultimate goal that we all want to see is permanent DACA legislation. Something that cannot be revoked by the stroke of a president’s pen.”

About Daniela Garrido

Daniela is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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  • Leon johnson

    What the taxpayers have paid
    because of illegal immigration is the real crime.What I find most
    interesting is the all out BLITZ by the Democrats, MSM, every faculty
    member at any university in the country fighting to the death for
    illegal aliens? yes they put a warm and fuzzy name on it “Dreamers.” and
    no one seem to wonder why? future voters? can you imagine the Democrats
    ever being this interested or motivated in issues involving citizens!
    There is an estimated 800,000 DACA recipients in the US. That is 800,000
    jobs American Citizens don’t have or will be in competition for.

    The MSM and Democrats
    would have us believe that all 800 thousand are not taking jobs
    Americans want (we’ve heard that lie for many years now.) This is
    another falsehood told to the American people. Democrats have actually
    changed the language. It’s not illegal alien its “Immigrant.” (like the
    lie there just ‘Kids”) there not all picking strawberries they take
    great Jobs. Good enough jobs to buy homes put their kids through
    college.

    Why must the citizens have competition for
    jobs, education in their own country from foreign nationals? Now
    Democrats and illegal alien activists admit DACA recipients have great
    jobs,are buying homes, paying taxes. The GOAL, motivation (Democrats
    just haven’t figured this out yet) is for the American citizens to be
    employed, sending their kids to college, buying homes and paying taxes.
    It’s not the responsibility of the citizens of this country to support,
    educate citizens from other country’s.Deportation will save jobs and
    decrease the expense of illegal aliens. There is also an incredible
    public safety issues.

  • tasam1

    DACA ended on Sept. 5. President Trump promised to end DACA. No citizenship. No work permits. It is time to start deporting. The DACAs and their parents can go back to their homeland and help there. The fiscal burden from illegal aliens is $135 billion.

    • Eunice Richards

      Some” of the costs of illegal immigration.

      *The cost of educating illegal aliens children is staggering. From
      K-12 it costs taxpayers $122,000 for EACH illegal alien. That is not
      even counting the FREE school lunches every day for 13 years.

      *Now city, and state officials are appropriating millions of taxpayer
      dollars for legal fees to to file law suits and in defense of illegal
      aliens being deported.

      *2012 illegal aliens sent home $62 BILLION in remittances back to
      their countries of origin. This is why Mexico is getting involved in our
      politics.

      *30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens. Does
      not include local jails and State Prisons. At 21,000 per year expense
      per inmate in Federal Prison—U do the math.

      *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens, I
      repeat 3 MILLION a DAY to process Illegals in the Criminal justice
      system.

      *$2.2Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps),WIC, & free school lunches.