By Monserrat Solis, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Children who have migrated to the United States without a birth certificate are now left with no identification– this has caused problems as they seek higher education.
Pascal Callejas, who appeared on ‘Don Francisco Te Invita’ on Telemundo, spoke about the time he discovered he did not have a birth certificate when he started to think about going to college under the DACA program, an American immigration policy that allows individuals who were brought to the United States illegally as a child a renewable two-year deferred action from deportation.
Callejas was the first to receive a Mexican birth certificate after years of living in the United States without proper documentation , which was a huge win at the time because of the bureaucracy and the extensive process within the Mexican government, recalled Callejas. This process took legal help that many people are not able to find or pay for. Many are still waiting for this help.
According to UNICEF, 49 percent of children under the age of five are not registered around the world and children from the poorest household or belonging to a minority or indigenous group, and refugees are 20 percent less likely to be registered.
Since the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, the United States has opened its doors to family members of American citizens, skilled laborers and professionals and political refugees. In 2012, former president Barack Obama’s executive order passed DACA which has opened the door for children who have grown up in America but are not citizens.
Earlier this year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. is set to drop to 30,000 starting in fiscal year 2019. In 2019, 310,000 refugees and asylum seekers are expected to be processed.
Since Trump has introduced “metering” to slow the number of legally processed refugees at the border, it has become difficult for asylum seekers and undocumented people to enter the country legally.
Last year, the Trump administration announced a plan to shut down DACA; meaning 800,000 youth could lose their legal status.
In California, there were 242,339 DACA students attending college in 2017, according to the Migrant Policy Institute. DACA students all around the country have been worried about their education. Vanessa Delgado, a student from Trevecca Nazarene University, wanted to give up after Trump took office.
“I was raised to believe that education and knowledge were things that no one can take away from you,” said Delgado in an interview with The Hechinger Report, ” and that would lead to your dreams coming true. I believed that, and I still do.”