Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Reveal Navigation

GED, ID Obstacles for 'Dreamers' Seeking Deportation Reprieve GED, ID Obstacles for 'Dreamers' Seeking Deportation Reprieve GED, ID Obstacles for 'Dreamers' Seeking Deportation Reprieve GED, ID Obstacles for 'Dr...

share
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

The Next America - Immigration 2012 / Immigration

GED, ID Obstacles for 'Dreamers' Seeking Deportation Reprieve

Having a high-school diploma, or the medallion held by her mother, doesn't mean that Cynthia Moreno, a graduate of Barry Goldwater High in Phoenix, can afford the nonresident college costs that face undocumented immigrants.((AP Photo by Nick Oza)

August 15, 2012

DEFERRED ACTION IN BRIEF

Applicants:

  • Must have lived in the U.S. for at least five years, be no older than 30, and either be honorably discharged from the military, have a high school diploma or GED, or currently enrolled in school.
  • Cannot have a criminal background nor pose a threat to national security or public safety — meaning that violent criminals, felons, and repeat immigration offenders will not qualify.
  • Pay costs amounting to $465 though waivers may be offered some who are homeless, in foster care, or suffer a chronicled disability and live at least 150 percent below the poverty line.
  • Undergo a background check that will be compared against a variety of databases. 
  • Access the forms online.
  • Educational Attainment:

  • Currently enrolled in K-12: 800,000
  • GED or high school graduates: 390,000
  • With a college degree: 80,000
  • Enrolled in college: 140,000
  • Without high school diploma or GED: 350,000

It’s one thing for the Obama administration’s sweeping new deferred-action program to start today, affecting up to 1.7 million undocumented immigrants; it’s quite another to think that qualified youth under 30 who arrived in the U.S. before age 16 will find it easy to stay for additional schooling or for work.

 (RELATED: ‘Dream Act’ Deferrals Could Top 1.7 Million.)

A key requirement to qualify for a two-year work permit that grants a reprieve from deportation is a high school diploma or GED certificate. Given that as many as 350,000 lack such credentials, advocates, educators, and other stakeholders have begun to focus on ways to overcome obstacles to further education.

 

The Homeland Security Department's guidelines say that youths without a high school diploma or GED would be eligible to apply if they enrolled in school before Aug. 15. While it’s too early to tell just how many students nationwide have rushed to sign up for classes or GED programs, some schools are girding for an influx.

“It’s to be expected that a significant number of people will come back to adult education for their GEDs, and that other young people may be encouraged to continue their education through community-college programs in the hopes that this [immigration policy] could lead to something more akin to the Dream Act,” said Margie McHugh, codirector of the MPI’s National Center on Immigration Integration Policy.

Currently, think-tank researchers are collecting GED data state by state, examining administration procedures, quality of instruction, and general requirements, because programs can vary greatly.

In Maryland, for instance, people who are 16 years or older can take the series of GED exams, but in California the minimum age is 18, with a few exceptions.

Another obstacle is as simple as ID. Registering for a GED exam requires official identification, which some young people may not have. New Jersey expects two forms of government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, and a second form of identification that verifies the first, such as a car registration or vehicle insurance, according to the website.

In Arizona, illegal immigrants don’t qualify for free prep classes for a GED diploma offered through adult-education programs or in-state tuition, which will likely make it more challenging for young immigrants there to prepare for and pass the exams.

There are also cost issues for those who plan to get a college education and don’t qualify for in-state tuition.

“Accessibility and affordability—all of these old questions will come into play,” McHugh said.

For instance, Chihuahua native Cynthia Moreno, 18, graduated from a Phoenix high school this year and hopes to go to an Arizona college to study to become a business owner. However, since Arizona requires undocumented immigrants to pay nonresident tuition costs, neither she nor her family can afford the $12,000 per semester at Arizona State University, for instance. Nonstate tuition for community colleges in Maricopa County, where her family resides, costs $300 per credit, or $4,500 for a full credit load each term.

For some of the 350,000 young immigrants who left school without obtaining their diploma or GED certificate, returning to school after a long absence will also bring challenges. “Very often, they are working and helping support their family,” McHugh said. “These nontraditional students are therefore more likely to need evening classes that will fit into their work schedule.”

About 5 percent (80,000) of the 1.7 million immigrants who would benefit from deferred action already have college degrees. Of those, 48 percent have an associate’s degree,44 percent have a bachelor’s degree, and 8 percent have advanced degrees, according to analysis by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank. 

You May Find These of Interest
Get us in your feed.
More The Next America - Immigration 2012
Job Board
Search Jobs
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | San Jose, CA
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Traverse City, MI
Outside Sales - Membership Development
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Rochester, MN
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Key West, FL
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Danbury, CT
Outside Membership Sales Rep
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Las Cruces, NM
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Kingston, NY
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Coos Bay, OR
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | St. Augustine, FL
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Kirksville, MO
Outside Sales -Membership Development
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Colorado Springs, CO
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Newburgh, NY
Legislative Director
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Austin, TX
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Meridian, MS
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Hampton, VA
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus