SFA taking DACA applications for children of undocumented immigrants

SFA taking DACA applications for children of undocumented immigrants
SFA Admissions Data Center (Source: KTRE Staff)
SFA Admissions Data Center (Source: KTRE Staff)
Pictured are DACA documents. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Pictured are DACA documents. (Source: KTRE Staff)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Undocumented immigrants, brought to the United States as young children, continue to have an opportunity to study and work in the U.S.

Saturday will mark the second anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA will be observed in Texas.

SFA is one university welcoming any qualified applicant.

Across the state on Saturday, free advice and information will give young undocumented workers an opportunity to sign up for school and work credentials.

The closest clinic to East Texas is in Houston, but Stephen F. Austin State University offers the assistance year round.

"We have a full-time member and a part-time member who definitely look at documents for non-documented residents on a regular basis, and they work pretty steadily," said Kevin Davis, the associate director of admissions for SFA.

Davis said processing DACA-eligible youth is easier and faster since the legislation passed two years ago.

"They're more willing to come," Davis said. "More willing to say 'I'm not documented.'"

Willingness is the first requirement. Others follow.

"They get in-state tuition if they can prove they graduated here in Texas or got a GED here," Davis said. "They been here for 12 months, and while they were in high school, they were in Texas for 36 months. And like I said, the only other stipulation is you apply for full-time residency when you have the first opportunity."

Immigration attorneys say application is important because there's a great deal of benefit that can result.

"The authorization to work, social security, a drivers license and protection against deportation," said Liz Cedillo-Pereira, an immigration attorney. "So, it really is a game-changer for so many youth who have applied nationally - over 500,000 young people have applied and been approved."

Texas has the second-highest number of DACA-eligible youth in the nation at nearly 150,000. Only about one-third of them have yet to apply.

"We definitely encourage them to apply here at SFA," Davis said. "We want them here."

Information on the Saturday clinics and a live online chat for those who can't attend an event are offered at this link.

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