21-year old Kim Surino, who stays in Phoenix, Arizona does not have a driver’s license, has not been able to qualify for in-state college tuition or avail of a host of other opportunities available to young people. She would have been able to do so if she had stayed in a different state, just a few hundred miles to the west.
With last week’s executive order on immigration reform coming out into the open, President Obama’s intentions seem to be – expand the deferred action program, by deferring the deportation of hundreds of parents of undocumented immigrants. But the harsher realities are that each state is adopting its own policies and many undocumented immigrants are therefore, facing a lot of impediments. Though the President of America is allowing them to remain in the USA for a longer time it doesn’t still mean that their state will allow them to drive a car, get into school or even enable them to obtain health insurance at affordable rates. There is a patchwork of rules that have formed in states – based more on political alignments, especially after the President allowed some young deportees to stay on in the country. There are states like Nebraska and Arizona that are very conservative, and do not allow these undocumented immigrants access to drivers’ licenses or affordable education. Sadly, states like Arizona are very strict when it comes to granting rights to undocumented aspirants.
In states like California, Democrats, immigration groups and health care advocates are trying to help illegal immigrants to receive health care under the state’s Medicaid program, although the president’s action excludes immigrants who came to the country illegally from qualifying for state health benefits.
Different policies adopted in different states are making it difficult for unauthorized immigrants to avail of basic amenities like driving licenses and health insurance.