Deferred Action opens to Valley 'DREAMers'

PHOENIX, AZ - President Barack Obama's plan to offer Deferred Action to so-called " DREAMers" officially got underway on Wednesday.

If approved, those who came to the United States illegally as kids won't face deportation and can apply for work

But there's mixed emotions amongst some in the Valley over the program's launch.

One concern is the upcoming  presidential election in November.

Mitt Romney has said he doesn't fully support what President Obama has done by offering Deferred Action.

But despite that concern, many DREAMers are moving forward with their applications.

One of those DREAMers is Yadira Garcia who was all smiles as she listened to instructions on how to apply for Deferred Action from an attorney Wednesday afternoon.

For the first time in her life, Garcia saw an opportunity to no longer have to live in fear.

"Today, we're happy," said Garcia. "We achieved something after so much work over the past ten years."

When Garcia was just 7-years-old, she came with her family to the U.S. illegally.

For the past 16 years, she's worried about potentially being deported.

If approved for Deferred Action, she will worry no longer.

"It's not legal status unfortunately, but it does help us out in a big way where we can live without fear anymore," said Garcia.

Elizabeth Chatham, an immigration attorney with Davis Miles in Tempe, told ABC15 just because the so-called DREAMers can now apply for Deferred Action, it doesn't mean they should.

Chatham said some should be concerned about whether all the information being turned over to the Department of Homeland Security could come back to be used against them.

"They're going to decide is it worth it to apply for this opportunity to get a work permit or is it more important to stay hidden," said Chatham.

Garcia, however, has already made that decision.

Having graduated from ASU last December, Deferred Action means she can work as a teacher for the very first time.

In her case, Garcia claimed the rewards outweighed the risks.

"It's something that's in the back of our heads but not something we're extremely concerned about," said Garcia. More than anything, it means I finally have the opportunity to put my degree to use.

Supporters of the Deferred Action plan and the DREAM Act gathered for march on the State Capitol Wednesday.

Air15 video showed a couple dozen people taking part in the march.

They were marching in response to Jan Brewer took aim at the President's Deferred Action plan as it went into effect.

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