To immigrants living in Riverside, the threat of deportation might not be an entirely uncommon one. The process of naturalization or the wait to becoming a legal citizen both come with their own sets of hurdles, meaning many immigrants stay undocumented for a long time. This can apply both to older immigrants and to younger ones, who may still be at deportation risk even with DACA.
Immigrants from over the southern border of the U.S. aren’t anything new. However, there has been a somewhat recent trend in immigrant children traveling alone that has worried many and caused some to start pointing fingers. The number of children crossing since October alone has reportedly reached 47,000, which is 90% higher than the numbers before October. With some officials speculating that over 90,000 children could cross by December 2014, many people are turning to policies to try pinpointing the cause of the increase.
DACA, the program put into place by the Obama administration to spare underage immigrants from having to deal with deportation as often as older immigrants, is coming heavily under fire for this reason. Some say that DACA is like amnesty, which is tempting for immigrant youths. However, others have said that these numbers have been high since before DACA and that the increase in immigrants is more indicative of an increase in problems in their country of origin.
Regardless of the reason, the end result is a much larger number of immigrant youths than some had predicted. This means that the chance of deportation may rise even further. If a person believes that they are at risk for deportation or detainment, they may wish to contact an immigration attorney to see what their options are.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Republicans blame Obama policies for immigration crisis on border,” Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Richard Simon, June 21, 2014