CSUN community learns the importance of deferred action

CSUN alumni presented a lecture on deferred action Thursday to provide information to people qualified for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Sharlene Mae Bagon, CSUN alumni in Asian American studies and attorney in immigration law, wanted to give back to the community by explaining what DACA is.

“Before Oct. 10 only four DACA applications were approved. As of Oct. 10, 4,591 applications have been approved,” Bagon said.

Gina Masequesmay, the chair of Asian American studies, said AB 540 students and people who work with them need to know about the different options provided.

“We need a lawyer to interpret all the qualifications for DACA,” Masequesmay said.

Rita Vesagas, an attorney at Vesagas & Bagon Law Firm, explained the importance of applying for DACA. She had a client graduating from Pasadena Arts Center who was unable to get a job after graduation because he could not provide information on his status.

“He was a talented kid brought through the whole system to a dead end,” Vesagas said. “I think deferred action at least gives people some opportunity. Their talent is just wasted sitting at home not doing anything.”

Ana Miriam Barragan, a senior psychology and deaf studies major, is an undocumented student and member of Dreams to Be Heard, which is a support group for undocumented students at CSUN.

“The open question section was informational and beneficial giving clarification of things,” Barragan said.

Lawrence Lau, a senior Asian American studies major, said DACA is an important piece of law. He wanted to find more about DACA to help his undocumented friends. Many of the people he  grew up with didn’t know that they were undocumented, Lau said.

“Nothing separates them from us than the law,” Lau said.

Bagon said DACA gives student an identity and on Aug. 15, immigrants could officially apply for deferred action.

“DACA is not a lawful status but it’s a discretionary determination by DHS to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion, will not be considered an unlawful presence in the U.S.,” Bagon said.

As of June 15, to be qualified for DACA, the person has to be under 31 years old, having arrived in the U.S. under the age of 16 and continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, said Bagon.

“DACA’s are eligible to receive employment authorization for the period of deferred action upon demonstrating an economic necessity for employment,” she said.