Brought to U.S. by their parents from Mexico as children, two sisters -- students at St. Philip’s College -- were introduced at the Cesar Chavez Service Center as being granted deferred action under President Obama’s executive order.
Stephanie Vazquez, an 18-year-old pre-pharmacy major, and her sister, Yessica, majoring in political science, are among young people who qualified to apply every two years to have their deportations deferred.
Both had been told by Joseph Fonseca, the center’s outreach and education director, they could expect a decision in about 45 days.
Stephanie Vazquez said, “When I got it before those 45 days, I was running around the house, ‘I got it! I got it!’”
Vazquez also said she’ll now has even more reason to celebrate be her 19th birthday.
“It’s the perfect birthday gift!” Vazquez said.
Yessica Vazquez said deferred action doesn’t mean permanency, but at least now, “We’re more secure.”
Both said they are grateful to Fonseca, who also is a political science professor at St. Mary’s University, for guiding them through the process.
“A lot of paperwork, a lot of information that we needed to make sure the process was done right,” Fonseca said.
The Vazquez sisters said they believe the still pending Dream Act as a pathway to citizenship stands a better chance with President Obama’s re-election and the GOP’s failure to attract Hispanic voters.
“I hope, I really, really hope Republicans will give in,” Stephanie Vazquez said.
However, opponents of the Dream Act and deferred action, predict increased competition for college slots and financial aid.
“It gets me mad,” said Yessica Vazquez.
She said many U.S. born students often say, “I’m only in college because my parents made me.”
Vazquez said she tells them, “Please don’t say that.”
She said many others yearn for the opportunity, and yet, “(they) don’t take advantage of it.”