Thousands of undocumented people gained work permits in 2012 as part of an Obama administration effort to shield young people from deportation. Now, as it comes time to renew their paperwork some of these same immigrants- known as “dreamers”- are losing the chance to work legally in the states. Fm89’s Diana Aguilera reports how some people in the Central Valley are left in limbo.
Brenda Ordaz, 22, describes herself as a country girl. She enjoys taking care of her roosters and living in the rural community of Madera. It’s the place she calls home.
Next week applications will start rolling in from the first wave of immigrants seeking temporary deportation relief under President Barack Obama’s executive order. Despite strong opposition from Republicans in Congress, Obama’s immigration plan aims to shield up to five million unauthorized immigrants from deportation out of the estimated 11 million living in the United States.
As soon as Feb. 18, newly eligible immigrants will begin applying for relief under the extended version of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
It’s now been a month since California’s new law took effect that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver licenses. The Department of Motor Vehicles says issued nearly 60,000 such licenses in that first month.
57,000 undocumented Californians obtained driver licenses from January 2nd through the 30th. That means each applicant provided proof of identity and residency, and passed both the DMV’s written rules-of-the-road test and its behind-the-wheel exam.
California is developing regulations for undocumented immigrant driver licenses. But some groups are concerned about what they’ve seen so far. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.
A coalition of immigrant rights groups says California needs to keep working on the regulations for undocumented driver licenses. Refugio Mata with Presente.org says there are concerns about the kinds of documents needed to get a license and how undocumented drivers will be treated by law enforcement.
A bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to enroll in Medi-Cal is on hold for now.
Senate Bill 1005, known as the Health for All Act, was put on hold in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Friday giving advocates time come up with funding solutions.
State Sen. Ricardo Lara introduced the bill in February.
Besides expanding services to the undocumented, Lara’s bill would create a health insurance marketplace. This would allow undocumented people who earn too much to qualify for Medi-Cal the chance to buy private coverage with the help from the state.
With immigration reform efforts seemingly stalled in Washington D.C., the California legislature is continuing to take its own steps to address the undocumented immigrants who call the state home. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports on one new bill that would help a variety of undocumented professionals.
In order to practice medicine doctors have to provide a social security number to obtain a license from the state. This process automatically excludes undocumented immigrants from applying.