FIU Law’s Carlos A. Costa Immigration and Human Rights Clinic and Professor Juan Carlos Gómez were featured in a recent Miami Herald article for their work with low-income undocumented migrants applying to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
Professor Gómez is a Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at FIU. Gómez has been defending the rights of individuals in immigration matters for the last twenty years. During this time he has represented persons before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the United States Departments of Justice and Homeland Security in complex immigration matters. Within the field of immigration law, he has helped thousands of individuals in situations including removal and deportation proceedings, family immigration, and the transfer of professionals and executives to the United States.
“You hear all of these incredible stories of young people who have been brought to the United States and have such hope to contribute so much,” Gómez said. “They want to run businesses. They want to be accountants. They are paying for college out of their own pockets. These are incredible human beings, who will only make us a richer nation.”
Young, undocumented but no longer hiding
Undocumented youths are ‘coming out’ in a bid for temporary legal status.
For years Julian Gomez, 20, suffered in silence with a secret. His family overstayed their tourist visa after they moved from Argentina to Miami when he was one. Without identification, he couldn’t apply for student loans, a job or a driver’s license.
He graduated summa cum laude from Coral Park Senior High, is an honors student at Miami-Dade College and an avid Harry Potter fan. After President Barack Obama announced June 15 that an immigration initiative — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — would temporarily shield him from deportation, he came out as an “Undocumented American” on a YouTube video.
In the video — sponsored by a popular Harry Potter fan network — he explained why, in his view, if the wizard were real, he would support immigration reform. It got 15,400 views.
In times of high unemployment and economic stagnation, many say that is imperative for the United States to discourage immigrants who have come here illegally, even if they had no choice in the matter, because their parents brought them. After all, at a time when many college graduates can’t land a job in their field of study and national unemployment is at 7.8 percent, doesn’t an abundance of young undocumented immigrants make the job market appreciably worse?