Policy Variations on Undocumented Youths

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PolicyVariations on Undocumented Youths

PolicyStates Variation on Undocumented Youths

The state of immigration situation and has a great impact on thelives of most undocumented youth all over the United States ofAmerica. Being undocumented brings out a lot of challenges in thatsome people’s dreams are curtailed hence a challenge to daily life,and more so it means one can risk being deported. Several debateshave always unfolded over the legalization of more than elevenmillion undocumented youths in America. Some efforts have been inplay, from the Dream Act which focused on ensuring that youngimmigrants are provided with legal status and path to citizenship forDeferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which provides atemporary two-year reprieve from the deportation and provision ofwork permit (Batalova et al., 2014).

President Obama through the department of homeland security sought tosolve and address these problems of undocumented youth by announcingthe executive decision that defers immigration enforcement on what isreferred to as deferred action for childhood arrivals DACA. Theguidelines for this deferred action were of those who were 31 yearsand below by the June of 2012 and for those who enter the UnitedStates at or before their 16th year birthday (Batalova et al., 2014).The guidelines also stated that those who have always stayed in theUnited States from 2007 to the present time were also eligible forthis deferred action. The guideline also favored those who arecurrently in the school and even those who had completed and hadobtained the certificate of completion or general educationdevelopment certificate. In addition to schooling, one should alsohave not been convicted of any criminal cases such as felony,misdemeanor and even pose a threat to the national security such asterrorism.

This policy allows that these granted to have a two-year reprieve andwork authorization granted. Statistics shows that approximately2million undocumented youth are eligible for this policy change andby August of 2013 around 600,000 youth had applied for deferredaction and 400,000 were approved. Some of the states had issues withthe announcement of this policy action (Passel &amp D`Vera Cohn,2011). Arizona and Nebraska stated precisely that they will neitherhonor the order fully nor access the state benefits such as theprovision of driving license to the undocumented youth. Most of thestates agreed to the deferred action and grant of driving license tothe recipients although states like Michigan and Iowa reversed thedecision which they had earlier made. It should be noted that thelimit of these deferred action cuts across and to some extent it isbeneficial to the undocumented youth. If granted one is eligible forthe rising wages hence the chance to pay tuition fees since thoseundocumented youth who have been granted deferred action cannotreceive financial aid from the federal government (Gleeson &ampGonzales, 2012). Those states who support the issuance of the drivinglicense have always argued that more revenue will be generated fromthe taxes and since the number of people who have auto insurance willincrease and also for public safety in that most of this people willhave to provide official documentation to the law officers.

There is a significant variation in policy adoption andimplementation among various states, for example, DACA implementationwhich statistics shows that from the low 22 percent to 48 percent inIndiana. However, it should be noted that it is all about theeligibility of the applicants and not the inability of the state toimplement DACA. Nationally the DACA population who are eligible is at53% (Gonzales et al., 2014). However the case, around thirteen statesand even the District of Columbia of which some with largest DACApopulations who are eligible have seen poor implementation rateswhich are lower than what is expected. More outreach has beensuggested for these states which have lagged behind in theimplementation.

Several issues always come up in the adoption or rejection of thispolicy variation across the United States. This issue explains thedifferent in DACA rate and even other internal policies and even thesuccess or failure of DREAM Act (Flores, 2010). Some factors, forexample, the active role which Mexican consulate play and also theexposure of Spanish language press more than what Asian media playbrings out the different national origins which consequently affectthe application and even denial rates. It is worth noting that thecoast of DACA application is also thus hindering applicantsespecially those from multiple DACA eligible youth.

The current and traditional media have played a major role ininfluencing the success or failure in a given policy for example lackof information in some ethnic media sources especially those of Asiancommunities thus, in the long run, there will always be lower ratesof adoption and application to their advantage. However, the use ofsocial media for dissemination of information has greatly managed toproviding information and proving eligibility, residency and alsofulfilling continuous presence obligation.

While it is clear that some states have restrictive immigrationpolicies which mostly discourage undocumented immigrants mostlyyouths from participating in the society, the data and informationhave clearly shown that the same case is not applicable when it comesto DACA. This is simply because implementation rates as shownstatistically are that those states with hostile policy climates havehad higher rates of DACA implementation (L.Schmid, 2013).


Undocumented immigration has become a global complex issue which haspose challenge to the community, state, government and federalgovernments and even the global governing bodies. Nations such as theUnites States, Unite Kingdom, Spain, and Germany can be termed as ahome to most of the undocumented immigrants who are mostly youth.These undocumented immigrants have posed a threat to the operation ofthe nation economically, security and social welfare of the citizensthus resulting to development drastic measure and policy formulationwhich is believed to control the situation (Galarneau, 2011).

United Kingdom, for example, has changed the National Health Servicepayments to the overseas visitors so as to hinder the undocumentedimmigrants (Yates et al. 2007). While the fact that most populationaccept the adoption of such policies, some groups have gone againstthese policies for example doctors (Hargreaves et al., 2006).

Germany has also had an exclusionary policy which has given authorityto the members of the official board to provide information to theministry of the interior on any individual who has doesn’t have avalid residence permit.

Application of these exclusionary policies in the developed nationssuch as UK, Spain, and Germany have to a larger extent makeimmigrants to be afraid and avoid health providers while on the otherhand physicians are placed in a dilemma situations when providinghealth care for undocumented patients( Gibson &amp Carrasco, 2009).

The fact that the United States cannot easily implement a health careprogram created in another country, then it means doctors and medicalfraternity, for example, must be aware of the repercussion on theproposed immigration reform legislation. What makes the United Statesdifferent from other nations such as Germany, Spain and UK is thatpolicies vary among states. Therefore, the case is not the same inUK, Germany, and Spain where political action by the doctors couldprevent issues of confusion and frustration with the law onundocumented immigration health care (Romero-Ortuno, 2004).


Most of the undocumented youths across America have been documented,and still, most are on their way to documentation through DACA. Inaddition to these applications with the final decision made in justone year shows that most have been approved while few have beenrejected. However, despite this significant output, the success ofDACA implementation has not been uniform across all the states andalso the national origins groups are not equally benefiting. However,internationally policy adoption can be similar and uniformity inaddressing the problem of undocumented youth and immigration ingeneral.


Batalova, J., Hooker, S., &amp Capps, R. (2014). DACA at theTwo-Year Mark: A National and State Profile of Youth Eligible andApplying for Deferred Action. Migration Policy Institute.

Flores, S. M. (2010). State dream acts: The Impact of in-stateresident tuition policies and the undocumented Latino students. TheReview of Higher Education, 33(2), 239-283.

Galarneau, C. (2011). Still missing: undocumented immigrants inhealth care reform. Journal of health care for the poor andunderserved, 22(2), 422-428.

Gibson, M. A., &amp Carrasco, S. (2009). The education of immigrantyouth: Lessons from the US and Spain. Theory into Practice, 48(4),249-257.

Gleeson, S., &amp Gonzales, R. G. (2012). When do papers matter? Aninstitutional analysis of undocumented life in the United States.International Migration, 50(4), 1-19.

Gonzales, R. G., Terriquez, V., &amp Ruszczyk, S. P. (2014).Becoming DACAmented: assessing short-term benefit of deferredaction for childhood arrivals (DACA). American BehavioralScientist, 58(14), 1852-1872.

Hargreaves, S., Friedland, J. S., Gothard, P., Saxena, S.,Millington, H., Eliahoo, J., … &amp Holmes, A. (2006). Impact onand use of health services by international migrants: questionnairesurvey of inner city London A&ampE attenders. BMC Health ServicesResearch, 6(1), 153.

L. Schmid, C. (2013). Undocumented childhood immigrants, Dream Actand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in the USA. InternationalJournal of Sociology and Social Policy, 33(11/12), 693-707.

Passel, J. S., &amp D`Vera Cohn, S. W. (2011). Unauthorizedimmigrant population: National and state trends, 2010. Washington,DC: Pew Hispanic Center.

Romero-Ortuno, R. (2004). Access of health care to illegal immigrantsin the EU: should we be concerned? European Journal of Health Law,11(3), 245-272.

Yates, T., Crane, R., &amp Burnett, A. (2007). Rights and thereality of healthcare charging in the United Kingdom. Medicine,Conflict and Survival, 23(4), 297-304.