Undocumented Filipina wary of applying for DAPA

NEW YORK CITY (Updated with corrections) – Bulacan native Grace Concepcion came to the US in February 2011 using a tourist visa.

She overstayed her visa and worked odd jobs as an undocumented immigrant in America.

Today, she has a US-born child, no criminal record, and she speaks English.

She would have qualified for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parental Accountability or DAPA but she came to the US a year too late to make it to DAPA’s January 2010 cutoff.

For those who qualify, DAPA offers work permit and deportation relief to undocumented parents of US Citizens who have lived in the country for five years and who pass a background check.

DAPA would also provide travel parole for those who qualify.

“Gusto ko umuwi ng Pilipinas, siyempre yun, yung wala kang fear,” she said, “Usually ang sinasabi niya nga is, I want to go to the Philippines, I want to go visit there with you lang nanay.”

Roughly four million people are eligible for DAPA.

But last month, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction on DAPA and the extended DACA, after 26 states sued to overturn Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

“Ang original DACA recipient, yung na-grant nung June of 2012, ay hindi affected, so pwede pa rin silang mag-renew. Hindi natatanggal yung deferred action nila,” Immigration Lawyer Ellaine Carr said. “Ang apektado lamang ng preliminary injunction ay yung expanded DACA at yung DAPA, pero ang executive action nandiyan pa rin, meron lang temporary hold.”

Concepcion said she has reasons why she has second thoughts about applying for DAPA.

“Kasi marami ngang nagsasabi sa akin na, ok pag-nag-come out ng ganyan, pag nag-fill-up ka nang ganyan, malalaman na nila, it’s much easier na para madeport ka nila kasi may record ka na,” she said.

“The truth is that a lot of immigrants have been deported under his presidency, under his term, so even if we wanted to trust the government,” Woodside, New York resident Espie Perrella said. “But what if it happens? So what is our proof that we are really protected here?”

The USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security have assured immigrants that only those with criminal history are in their priority list for removal.

Still, immigrant advocates here say they are confident and are praying for DAPA to eventually triumph in the courts.

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more information.

NOTE: It was previously written that Grace Concepcion qualified for DAPA but after further investigation, it turned out that she did not make the January 2010 cutoff date to qualify as a DAPA recipient.


6 Comments on this post.

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  • Ellaine Carr
    2 March 2015 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the interview. To clarify, the DAPA applicant must have continuously resided in the US since January 1, 2010. If you need more info, please email me.

  • bugoy
    2 March 2015 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    hindi siya qualified kasi dapat has been living here since 2010 at yung US citizen niyang anak on or before 2010 pinanganak.

  • bugoy
    2 March 2015 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    mali pala ang anak US citizen or PR by Nov 24, 2010.

  • noz
    2 March 2015 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    yeah, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. oh wait, till your US born child get to legal age to petition you, wherever part of the world you are or will be. the trick of having american born children have become stale excuses of the illegal aliens. the extra baggage of US born children have been abused / misused by all over occupying illegal aliens, sucking to bleeding hearts commie socialists, the like of obobo / the demoncraps. the ruling court of law to favor these illegal aliens of legal stay is trashing the core of this nation’s protection of the rule of laws, that this POS POTUS is trying hard to sabotage. obobo’s highest priority must be the american people/ its 1million legal aliens entering the US annually. no other free world nations of the globe, can compare to the USA, who have been welcoming the largest number of 1million legal aliens every year. the focus of this contemptible, irresponsible POTUS should be upholding the rule of law, which is deporting illegal aliens. instead, obobo is legitimizing illegal aliens by rewriting the immigration laws, which he has no power to amend the black / white immigration laws in the book. the court should find this lawless POTUS impeachable, send him straight to federal jail.

    the single excuse of the illegal aliens entering america by crossing the borders, or entering legally with intent to be illegal aliens, overstaying with expired temporary visas is economics. so why don’t you all fight your corrupt government, who are making the poorest lives of the majority by becoming the commonwealth of the USA, like puerto rico, the US virgin island, guam, etc. yes, bring your fight for economic justice with your own country, instead of fighting the immigration laws with radical reforms, americans are against, leading to animosity.

  • cat_idiot
    3 March 2015 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    ang malungkot ang nakabuntis din sau is “Out of Status”, something very common sa surrounding ng mga “TNT” …. besides mas nakakalungkot na malaman mo na parehas kayong 2 na may asawang iniwan sa pilipinas……

  • Generoso Magaoay
    3 March 2015 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Although no Americans (including Filipino-Americans) in their right mind would agree to such a “dumbfounded” DAPA/DACA programs, these illegal aliens (aka undocumented immigrants) just can’t get enough satisfaction… this is what we call in our Filipino community “PAKAPALAN NG MUKHA”