"I don't think it matters when someone does something good," she said. "Everything a politician does is to get votes. But when it helps people, I don't think it matters if it's political."
Zavala-Gomez said the biggest issue has been gathering the supporting documents needed for immigration review.
"There is so much weighing on this," she said. "You want to take your time with it."
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Deferred action is a form of prosecutorial discretion. It is a tool prosecutors can use to drop a deportation case, evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Immigrants qualifying have their cases closed but not dismissed. That means their cases could be re-opened for deportation if the immigrant commits a crime or a new immigration violation.
Immigrants whose cases are closed are allowed to remain in the U.S. but are not granted legal status or given a path to residency.
Information in the applications will not be shared with immigration enforcement unless there is a national security concern.
Felony and misdemeanor convictions that would disallow this action include domestic violence, sexual assault, unlawful possession or use of a firearm, drug distribution or trafficking and driving under the influence, as well as offenses resulting in more than 90-day jail sentences.
--Younger than 31 as of June 15.
--Arrived in the U.S. before age 16.
--Resided continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
--Physically present in the U.S. on June 15 and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action.
--Entered without inspection before June 15 or lawful immigration status expired as of June 15.
--Currently in school, graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school; obtained a GED; or an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. military.
--Not convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Youths may begin to request consideration for deferred action Aug. 15. If filed before that time, the request will be rejected.
Forms to file will be on the immigration agency's website.
The fee is $465 to file. No fee waivers will be granted.
Once a request is made, an appointment will be made for a review and to begin the series of background checks.
If denied, there is no appeal or review of the case.
Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Under the policy change, states are allowed to decide whether qualifying youth may apply for a driver's license or receive other benefits such as in-state tuition at colleges.
In Oklahoma, the controversial House Bill 1804, which was passed in 2007, requires every person applying for a driver's license to provide proof of citizenship or legal presence, according to Lt. Chris West., spokesman for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Being granted deferred prosecution puts an immigrant in legal limbo -- not subject to deportation but not given a path to legal residency or citizenship.
West said a person may seek an Oklahoma driver's license if a document from the immigration service or federal government is provided "stating they have legal presence status."
It is unclear whether documents in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals will be considered sufficient for an Oklahoma license.
In California, officials initially said youths would be eligible for a driver's license. Later, the motor vehicle department backtracked, stating a new policy or legislation may be needed to clarify which types of federal documents are needed to seek a license.
In Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer issued an order banning qualifying youth from seeking licenses or receiving any benefits.
The Georgia attorney general stated this week that a qualifying youth is eligible for a temporary driver's license. This affirmed the stance made earlier by the state motor vehicle department.
"While I do not agree with the actions of the President in issuing the directive, it has been implemented by the Department of Homeland Security, (immigration service), and state law recognizes the approval of deferred action status as a basis for issuing a temporary driver's license," Attorney General Sam Olens, a Republican, wrote in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.
In Texas, a resident who is granted deferred action and has employment authorization documents may apply for a driver's license, which would expire when the employment authorization expires.
Officials in states such as Nebraska have not been clear if deferred action allows for a chance to seek a driver's license, making comments that the states would abide by its existing statutes.
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