Friday, August 24, 2012

Who has access to resources & support networks when it comes down to DACA?

Part of me has been saying this since day one. If you have any questions about how Deferred Action is going to work, how to qualify, where to sign up etc. you'd start by going to the USCIS web site it self and looking up that info yourself. Facebook is just confusing folks more than anything, but the logic remains the same. If you want to find out information about something, look it up online.

But there in lies a problem that is only compounded once I started seeing a patter of questions folks have been asking since the DACA announcement. The majority of them were how does one qualify, where do you go to get the app, how much is it going to cost etc. Things what were answered at first and in further detail once the application was made public and further guidelines were made clear by USCIS.

That's still not enough. Having personally answered numerous questions myself via emails and social media inquiries, I had my fill from folks who don't bother to read the application or any of the supplemental information. That's when gears in my head started turning as I questioned why folks can send an email of facebook message with questions, but they can't go on the damn USCIS website and get info for themselves.

The divides that are in the 'community' are suddenly slapping me in my face. It's easy to forget and over look that there's language, technology, social, educational, cultural etc. barriers when it comes to government information and filling out applications. the I-821D form alone needs to be filled out electronically or type, most folks don't own computers.

Let alone trying to figure out questions about social security numbers on two separate forms, that if answered wrong or untruthfully, can lead to denial of the application and follow up by ICE. The stakes are high when it comes to filling out DACA paper work and having access to resources is crucial, sadly, most folks have to fend for themselves and try to figure out things as they go or pay someone to help.

I myself have the privilege of being able to disseminate the information, having friends who are lawyers to help me out if I need, groups that host workshops to help others and a computer and Internet access. As things stand, there's an estimated 1.4 million undocumented individuals who can/will qualify for DACA, how many of those make it through and actually get work permits is going to be a lot lower.

The system is built to keep us out through multiple facets whether physical, mental or institutional. those of us that do get through will be because we're the ones with the most privilege because of our education, resources and help.