“The new policy means I can work and won’t have to fear being separated from my family and friends. ”

Deferred Action Policy Allows Young Immigrants to Give Back

Tue, Jul 09, 2013 - By Catholic Charities

Grecia Lopez Neves came to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 12 years old. Now she attends Evergreen Valley College and wants to give back to the country she calls home. The new deferred action policy announced by the Obama Administration in June 2012 will give her the legal opportunity to be a productive member of society and contribute to the economy.

“This country has given me so much and I want to give back,” Grecia says. “The new policy means I can work and won’t have to fear being separated from the people I love, my family and friends. Even though I was born in Mexico, my life is here.”

Catholic Charities’ Immigration Legal Services has been educating the public about the new policy and helping those who want to apply gather the necessary documents. Agency staff have completed more than 500 applications for young immigrants like Grecia.

“The new immigration policy is a step in the right direction,” says Robert Yabes, Program Director for Catholic Charities’ Immigration Legal Services. “I’m feeling optimistic that this will lead to immigration reform. These young people will be able to show that they just want a chance to come out of the shadows, work hard, pay their taxes, and contribute to the economy.”

Grecia’s application was approved early this year. “I want to give back to this country by being a productive member of society. I plan to be a psychologist so I can help people. I might be a school counselor or maybe help veterans returning home adjust to life back here,” she says.

Photo Caption: Grecia, far right in photo, completing her application for deferred action and employment authorization on August 15, 2012 at Catholic Charities.

Photo Credit: Photo by Emily Cerezo

This story was contributed by Catholic Charities (http://www.catholiccharitiesscc.org/). Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County changes lives for good. We help people of all cultures and beliefs rise up out of poverty and overcome the barriers to self-sufficiency. We do this through a broad range of services, including job skills training and placement, older adult services, mental health and substance abuse counseling, housing assistance, financial education, immigration support, and refugee resettlement. We also provide educational programs that help young people develop into self-sufficient adults. Each year, we serve more than 37,000 people in need.