Groups offer help to young Collier immigrants who could benefit from new policy

William DeShazer/Staff 
 Valaree Maxwell, from left, president of the International Learning Academy, and Sister Maureen Kelleher, an attorney with Legal Aid, address a small group of people inquiring about the immigration deferred action at the Golden Gate Community Center on Saturday July 7, 2012. The deferred action will make illegal immigrants in the United States eligible for exemption from federal prosecution.

Photo by WILLIAM DESHAZER, Naples Daily News // Buy this photo

William DeShazer/Staff Valaree Maxwell, from left, president of the International Learning Academy, and Sister Maureen Kelleher, an attorney with Legal Aid, address a small group of people inquiring about the immigration deferred action at the Golden Gate Community Center on Saturday July 7, 2012. The deferred action will make illegal immigrants in the United States eligible for exemption from federal prosecution.

Requirements to be considered under new immigration policy:

■ Under age 16 when came to U.S.

■ Has already resided in U.S. continuously for at least five years already

■ In school, a high school graduate, obtained GED or honorably discharged

■ Not been convicted of a serious crime; doesn’t pose threat to national security

■ Not older than 30

Source: Department of Homeland Security

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— A new nationwide policy for young, undocumented immigrants seems tailor-made for Roberto Valdez.

He's weeks shy of turning 20, a high school graduate with no rap sheet who arrived with his parents from Mexico before he could walk.

Growing up, he kept it private that he lacked legal status.

"When I was going to graduate, that's when it really hit me more," said Valdez, who along with two dozen other people passed through a Legal Aid Service of Collier County information booth Saturday at the Golden Gate Community Center.

Although new procedures that accompany the immigration policy won't be announced until August, Legal Aid attorney Maureen Kelleher has encouraged illegal immigrants in Collier County to gather their paperwork now to expedite the process.

Saturday's event was the first of several information sessions planned in the coming months, Kelleher said, though dates and locations aren't yet determined.

Changes to the deferred action process were announced June 15 by the Department of Homeland Security, providing a temporary reprieve that can be renewed every two years, and for individuals like Valdez who are under the age of 30 and arrived illegally in the U.S. before the age of 16, the ability to work.

Larry Aguilar, a volunteer with the League of United Latin American Citizens, explained in Spanish to the parents, young children and teens gathered at the outdoor booth that they would be wise to gather documentation now that almost certainly will be necessary, such as birth and school records. The official procedure is expected to be made public in mid-August, coinciding with the back-to-school season, which could slow down records requests.

"There are a lot of opportunists in the community," Aguilar said of companies offering services to handle the new procedure. "One of the things we wanted to get out is there's help out there."

Valdez said he has his paperwork ready, Naples High School transcripts and all.

If his deferred action application is accepted, that will mean getting his driver license after years of being dependent on rides from family and friends. He could work legally, and have a chance at college.

For now, he makes ends meet helping out in a family member's construction business. For young illegal immigrants, not having the right paperwork is an inconvenience and a fear of being sent back to a country they don't know.

"If they're going to deport me, what am I going to do there?" Valdez said. "My life is here, man."

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 77

savethewhalz writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

FreshFace writes:

college? on who's dime? Oh yeah....the real American's money!

Vapur9 writes:

"We didn't record your vote, because you or someone from your computer's address has already voted."

This story just came out today, and I swear I'm the only one who has used this computer. An IP address does not equal one person, if that's your web developer's problem; good thing you guys aren't running our elections.

By the way, I voted in favor not because the restrictive stipulations of the policy, but because it is a step in the right direction.

Sanity writes:

Another puff piece for illegals again NDN? Why are we supposed to feel bad for these lawbreakers?

Furthermore, who do you think paid for Valdez's public education? Us taxpayers thats who. I'm so sick of these bleeding heart articles. I dare any of you to visit some schools in East Naples or Manatees and find a single kid not brought here by illegals.

bendorbreak writes:

From all the grammatical errors and spelling errors and just flat out errors in the articles written in the NDN I believe the illiterate illegals are writing the few articles attributed to NDN staff. Most of the paper is written by the Associated Press (the news arm of the democratic party). NDN leans left heavily but has laid off most of their staff like the big businesses & corporations the NDN finds so much fault with.

They are illegal and Obama is not upholding the Constitution by failing to enforce federal laws declaring these people illegal. To suspend a law just because it feels good to so many liberals and will get him votes is in itself illegal or at least close to it.

Jarvis (Inactive) writes:

Making the effort to get properly legalized is a step in the right direction.

Vapur9 writes:

They're illegal because we made them that way. We can unmake them that way without telling them to move. Earth can be shared, o selfish entitled ones.

John79 writes:

The sad part about this is the Illegals have been so used and exploited by business owners, agricultural interests, and the well to do in Florida that the average American can't get a decent wage here.
If there weren't jobs here for illegals there would be no illegals here...simple thinking but true. What amazes me is the wealthy are the ones who are benefiting from illegals the most, if you can afford to buy a million dollar home in a gated golf community then you can afford to pay an american a decent wage to cut the lawn there instead of using illegals.

Captian_Cataracts writes:

Aren't you people tired of blaming Hispanic immigrants for YOUR problems?

They are not the source of YOUR problems, your Fuhrer DWI Bush created all the problems we're experiencing today.

It's not that immigrants are taking away your jobs, it's people like Romney that are off-shoring your jobs that are causing the problem with unemployment.

THe more off-shored jobs there are the less money is earned & subsequently spent by Americans in America. How much money do you thik gets spent in the US by those whose earning are sent overseas?

Smarten up...lose the racist attitude. Especially whitey, you're in the minority now.

Your hatred for the sake of hatred is so frustrating; can't reason with a person blinded by hatred.

Bramble writes:

I know these kids may as well stay, as it wasn't their idea to come here and they really have no place else to go. The DREAM Act hasn't passed because it is so broad and would allow these kids to become citizens then sponsor their families for legalization.

Still, this kind of law will encourage so much fraud and very little of the paperwork, if any, will be verified. Fraudsters will not be charged with a crime, either.

And to qualify it says they cannot have been convicted of a serious crime. What is considered a serious crime? What convictions will be overlooked?

unfatcat writes:

It isn't the fault of the children; however, how do undocumented workers get education in a law abiding country, whose public works are paid for by taxpaying citizens, and who are actually violating the law?

The answer to this problem first is to promote LEGAL immigration and not support those who engage in illegal activity. In order to do that, easily understandable directions on how to become a legal citizen should be known to both citizens and non-citizens. The State of Florida cannot afford to carry the expense of education, food stamps, and hospitals for the many thousands who don't pay taxes. We already have a huge upcoming- problem with Obamacare and senior care. And the State cannot afford to have families who don't understand the Constitution or what our flag stands for.

furball writes:

If any of these applicants receive any entitlements than they should not be allowed to stay. ONLY self sufficient applicants for 5 years need apply.
This country is broke!!!! WE don't need any more taxtakers. WE have enough moochers as is.
I wouldn't get toooo comfortable, Barry doesn't have a chance of re-election with his new Health care tax on the backs of the middle class.

Sane_in_Florida (Inactive) writes:

in response to FreshFace:

college? on who's dime? Oh yeah....the real American's money!

The first young man mentioned in this article was brought here through no fault (or choice) of his own. He is a real American and you're a racist dirtbag.

beerbong writes:

Many Americans really don't care about the plight of these people. We have a crumbling infrastructure, a dead job market. Hundreds of thousands of American tax payers really hurting on everything from medical to housing to hunger. And our politicians on both sides are only thinking about getting votes. BS, shame on both parties. I know it's not the kids fault, but bending over backwards for criminals is ridiculous when America can't hardly take care of it's self and it's own. We need to get REAL.

furball writes:

Captain Cataracts is still blaming Bush, Really????? Four years of Barry the Professor, 5 trillion MORE in debt and the unemployment is still over 8%.
No one is buying your ridiculous finger pointing any more.
They sure won't in November. Then who can you blame???? The American people???

romneygate writes:

Ronald Reagan had the solution when he did ONE of his
tear down the wall" bits and gave amnesty to all of the businessmen's work force during his administration. Of course, the "Gipper" always knew where his bread was buttered, right?

floridacarpenter writes:

Its plain and simple. If your in this country illegally, your breaking the law. And now we have all of these do-gooders helping the lawbreakers stay in this country.

Folks? This country is going down the toilet and fast. It sickens me to see US citizens that can't get help in their old age because all the money is going to illegal immagrants. Its not right and I for one hate to see what we are turning into.

Sanity writes:

in response to Vapur9:

They're illegal because we made them that way. We can unmake them that way without telling them to move. Earth can be shared, o selfish entitled ones.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sanity writes:

in response to Sane_in_Florida:

The first young man mentioned in this article was brought here through no fault (or choice) of his own. He is a real American and you're a racist dirtbag.

Folks what you have here is textbook foaming at the mouth liberal when they have nothing logical to say. They resort to the old tired insult of calling people who don't agree "racist". Unfortunately they have no clue what racism is but just as their like minded mentally unstable liberal buddies they all know how to use words to shame people into doing what they want. Don't put up with it. Do not be afraid of being called a racist when you know you are not. Their opinion doesn't matter in the end as you can't help people like this.

Sanity writes:

in response to Jarvis:

Making the effort to get properly legalized is a step in the right direction.

They could have done that many years ago by doing it legally.

Aqua writes:

Well, no disrespect to the kids, as it is not their fault, but...where you have these kids, you have an illegal family supporting them. So when the kids get this new status, does the family just continue on with the life of the illegal - ie false documents, hacking into the social security system, no scrutiny regarding the threat level of the parents, etc? If the whole family had to go home, the kids would go with them and get re-introduced to their native country - with the added advantage of having a good education! Then they could apply to come back if they wanted.

Captian_Cataracts writes:

in response to packardv1650:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I beg to differ..all of the economic problems we have today are the result of DWI Bush invading Iraq because they had weapons of mass destruction.

I still haven't seen any of those weapons of mass destruction have you?

The cost of the war is so astronomical in terms of money & lives it's unfathomable how we're ever supposed to pay for it so the Fed prints up dumpsters full of money. That money caused massive inflation in this country & caused unemployment because producers cannot produce goods that people can't afford to buy. They can't afford to buy 'stuff' because although inflation brough prices up by over 250% peoples income has dropped.

You want to lay the blame a minimum wage immigrants? How dare you!

Look at what the Party of No has done to stymy any legislation being sponsered because they want a black man to be put out of office.

Too bad Bunky, HE'S here to stay & America refuses to be dragged back into the dark ages just because a bunch of grey haired old racist geezers want to control all the wealth of this country and the world.

BTW-your last line "...Please don't reNIG in 2012." didn't pass as clever; it's just exhibits exactly WHY we need to keep on moving forward instead of backwards as you want.

Thank god Obama is running unopposed.

keekee writes:

I would love to hear from "Nina" on this subject. The woman who for years has followed every rule of legal immigration but still faced the deportation of a daughter who grew up here in the United States.

Sorry Nina, I'm sure I've screwed up the details, but really what do you think of this bright and wonderful new policy for law breakers?

straighttalkinnaples writes:

in response to Bramble:

I know these kids may as well stay, as it wasn't their idea to come here and they really have no place else to go. The DREAM Act hasn't passed because it is so broad and would allow these kids to become citizens then sponsor their families for legalization.

Still, this kind of law will encourage so much fraud and very little of the paperwork, if any, will be verified. Fraudsters will not be charged with a crime, either.

And to qualify it says they cannot have been convicted of a serious crime. What is considered a serious crime? What convictions will be overlooked?

Bramble,

I agree, if there was actually any confidence in this program allowing only those who were brought here illegally, through no fault of their own, who are now 16 to 30 years old...then perhaps the American public would have faith in this working.

However, the fraudulent document business is working overtime to manufacture legacy information for any illegal immigrant remotely fitting the age requirement, knowing the U.S. government won't effectively verify the information.

Even when the government tries to do what's considered by many as the "right thing", they routinely screw it up, always compromising their credibility and making it that much harder to believe in a program like this.

This is exactly why Americans are cynics when it comes to immigration policy.

Captian_Cataracts writes:

in response to pitbull:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Captian_Cataracts writes:

in response to 3rdWorldObamanation:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Captian_Cataracts writes:

in response to pitbull:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Another reason to take guns away from people like you.

And we're going to get them too.

(_!_)

okay writes:

The article doesn't say who is registering them to vote.....I'm sure the racist LULAC organization will help guide them through the process.

tommyboy18088 writes:

We as a country, state and county need to investigate those who advocate and help those who break laws, take away their tax-favored status and see if they are breaking any laws themselves. We can NOT give free college, healthcare, housing, food, etc to everyone in the world unless they are paid for. DO NOT US TAXPAYER MONEY ON ANYONE NOT A US CITIZEN. STOP SENDING MONEY OVERSEAS FOR ANY REASON. SPEND MONEY ON US.

Captian_Cataracts writes:

in response to tommyboy18088:

We as a country, state and county need to investigate those who advocate and help those who break laws, take away their tax-favored status and see if they are breaking any laws themselves. We can NOT give free college, healthcare, housing, food, etc to everyone in the world unless they are paid for. DO NOT US TAXPAYER MONEY ON ANYONE NOT A US CITIZEN. STOP SENDING MONEY OVERSEAS FOR ANY REASON. SPEND MONEY ON US.

I agree. We need to revoke tax exempt status from all churches.

keekee writes:

in response to straighttalkinnaples:

Bramble,

I agree, if there was actually any confidence in this program allowing only those who were brought here illegally, through no fault of their own, who are now 16 to 30 years old...then perhaps the American public would have faith in this working.

However, the fraudulent document business is working overtime to manufacture legacy information for any illegal immigrant remotely fitting the age requirement, knowing the U.S. government won't effectively verify the information.

Even when the government tries to do what's considered by many as the "right thing", they routinely screw it up, always compromising their credibility and making it that much harder to believe in a program like this.

This is exactly why Americans are cynics when it comes to immigration policy.

Well said.

Unfortunately this is very close to the truth and for children that grew up in a secretive and fraudulent household, (I can only assume that keeping an undocumented lifestyle a secret, must be an exhaustive and full time job)perpetuating the fraud is simply a way of life.

Of course we are cynics regarding this policy, I can’t see being any other way.

Aqua writes:

in response to keekee:

I would love to hear from "Nina" on this subject. The woman who for years has followed every rule of legal immigration but still faced the deportation of a daughter who grew up here in the United States.

Sorry Nina, I'm sure I've screwed up the details, but really what do you think of this bright and wonderful new policy for law breakers?

ditto

Aqua writes:

fraudulent document manufacturing = American growth industry

Neither political party has our backs on this one. It serves them both to allow the lawbreaking.

anotherPOV writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

krissyk writes:

in response to FreshFace:

college? on who's dime? Oh yeah....the real American's money!

Seriously folks what happened to "Our" USA, the one millions DIED for? The quote in the later part of the article states that, "not having the right paperwork is an inconvenience..." INCONVENIENCE? Really? awe... You're an illegal! The fact that WE tax payers pay for illegals to get an education kills me! Why don't they start offering English as a foreign language in our schools so all the illegals know how to speak English? What happened to Our America? You are all welcomed here, just do it legally.

straighttalkinnaples writes:

in response to Captian_Cataracts:

I beg to differ..all of the economic problems we have today are the result of DWI Bush invading Iraq because they had weapons of mass destruction.

I still haven't seen any of those weapons of mass destruction have you?

The cost of the war is so astronomical in terms of money & lives it's unfathomable how we're ever supposed to pay for it so the Fed prints up dumpsters full of money. That money caused massive inflation in this country & caused unemployment because producers cannot produce goods that people can't afford to buy. They can't afford to buy 'stuff' because although inflation brough prices up by over 250% peoples income has dropped.

You want to lay the blame a minimum wage immigrants? How dare you!

Look at what the Party of No has done to stymy any legislation being sponsered because they want a black man to be put out of office.

Too bad Bunky, HE'S here to stay & America refuses to be dragged back into the dark ages just because a bunch of grey haired old racist geezers want to control all the wealth of this country and the world.

BTW-your last line "...Please don't reNIG in 2012." didn't pass as clever; it's just exhibits exactly WHY we need to keep on moving forward instead of backwards as you want.

Thank god Obama is running unopposed.

Cataracts,

Just how many years are you and the democrats going to continue blaming Bush for every economic misfortune your party unerringly levies on America?

I mean, either Obama is in charge or he's not. He was elected to fix the economy, but squandered away this opportunity on a massive new entitlement we can't afford, myriad regulations we can't abide, and major tax hikes on businesses and the middle class we can‘t allow, creating an environment of fiscal uncertainty in an already fragile economy.

If Bush is still to blame, even though he holds no seat in Congress and hasn't been in the White House for almost four years, then so be it. But, that defines Obama as a clueless rube without substance; a flailing sock puppet bereft of anything but meaningless rhetoric, an empty suit of monumental proportions perpetually unable to lead or guide this republic, destined for the political dustbin of history for failed Presidents.

So, please let us know when Obama is ready to lead, to take responsibility for what we hired him to do, along with assuming the accountability that comes with being President!

romneygate writes:

Oh those "major tax hikes" Obama has imposed, right? Didn't they all start with Reagan, or was that Carter? LOL

urdaddy writes:

Who's money is being swallowed greedily by this issue, legal americans. This is why we must turn out en masse at the next election. Yes this is a problem that needs addressed, but the do-gooders never saw a penny of someone elses money they didn't want to spend to make them self feel better, and not solve the problem.

romneygate writes:

in response to urdaddy:

Who's money is being swallowed greedily by this issue, legal americans. This is why we must turn out en masse at the next election. Yes this is a problem that needs addressed, but the do-gooders never saw a penny of someone elses money they didn't want to spend to make them self feel better, and not solve the problem.

Those darn "do gooders"! Burn the crosses and the churches this time, right?

keekee writes:

in response to straighttalkinnaples:

Cataracts,

Just how many years are you and the democrats going to continue blaming Bush for every economic misfortune your party unerringly levies on America?

I mean, either Obama is in charge or he's not. He was elected to fix the economy, but squandered away this opportunity on a massive new entitlement we can't afford, myriad regulations we can't abide, and major tax hikes on businesses and the middle class we can‘t allow, creating an environment of fiscal uncertainty in an already fragile economy.

If Bush is still to blame, even though he holds no seat in Congress and hasn't been in the White House for almost four years, then so be it. But, that defines Obama as a clueless rube without substance; a flailing sock puppet bereft of anything but meaningless rhetoric, an empty suit of monumental proportions perpetually unable to lead or guide this republic, destined for the political dustbin of history for failed Presidents.

So, please let us know when Obama is ready to lead, to take responsibility for what we hired him to do, along with assuming the accountability that comes with being President!

You certainly live up to your screen name,straighttalkinnaples, thank you for your thoughts, today.

Perhaps you should duck now, because many of these folks do not like to be confronted with any kind of common sense or truth. Especially when articulated so clearly and succinctly.

straighttalkinnaples writes:

in response to keekee:

You certainly live up to your screen name,straighttalkinnaples, thank you for your thoughts, today.

Perhaps you should duck now, because many of these folks do not like to be confronted with any kind of common sense or truth. Especially when articulated so clearly and succinctly.

Sorry, but I get a little frustrated at what I perceive to be mindless sniping, as opposed to legitimate political argument.

O.K., I occasionally engage in it myself, but I'm trying hard to employ common sense this election year.

Thanks, I'll keep my head down.

pitstop writes:

I think it is great that people want to become citizens of the USA...but, done legally!!! What does this say to all the immigrants that took the time and effort to follow the law?
Won't this just open a floodgate of more Illegals bringing their children to the USA before they are 16 years of age, knowing that after 5 years, they are safe?
This should have been voted on, not done by an executive order by the President!!

FreshFace writes:

I'm really not a racist. In fact, I'm all for people coming here and making a good life for themselves...but I'm tired of the hand outs going to those that don't have families that pay taxes. They run around in their cars illegally (no insurance or driver's license), they haven't attended one class to learn English let alone become a US citizen. They have baby after baby (I'm speaking from experience...I taught many of the illegal's children right here in CCPS) with illegal men. Now, these young women are working and some were born here and some were brought here. I love them. I truly do, but where does it stop? So, between 3 girls I'm referring to they have 8 babies already. They just turned 21. EIGHT BABIES! That's insane! They all work and I'm happy to say they still remember me and smile when they see me. They say they loved me when I was their teacher. I'm no racist...I wish their parents had cared as much as I did when I had them for 10 months in my classroom. Perhaps they wouldn't have been pregnant at 15 and on welfare. Perhaps they wouldn't have thought their only options were to follow in mommy's footsteps. You see, their parents should have said they wanted more and better for their daughters. Made them do their homework, made them finish HS, not allowed them out with the old illegal men they were around when they got knocked up...see where I'm going with this? It saddens me that these girls now have the same life as their moms have when they could have become more. But they are now a statistic that most Americans can't stand. To the boy in the article I say GO TO COLLEG, but make blasted sure you pay for some of it like the rest of us had to do when we were struggling to attend college and work full time jobs.

BigOrangeKitty writes:

in response to keekee:

I would love to hear from "Nina" on this subject. The woman who for years has followed every rule of legal immigration but still faced the deportation of a daughter who grew up here in the United States.

Sorry Nina, I'm sure I've screwed up the details, but really what do you think of this bright and wonderful new policy for law breakers?

I do not understand why you listen to that woman. All she does is complain about how unfair America is to HER.

She had a chance to come to America another way -- her husband had a relative here. But she CHOSE the visa that she's got now because the other way was too slow for her liking.

If she'd done it the other way, maybe all her problems would be over. But again, she CHOSE the visa she has. She had to have known the restrictions that came with it.

keekee writes:

in response to BigOrangeKitty:

I do not understand why you listen to that woman. All she does is complain about how unfair America is to HER.

She had a chance to come to America another way -- her husband had a relative here. But she CHOSE the visa that she's got now because the other way was too slow for her liking.

If she'd done it the other way, maybe all her problems would be over. But again, she CHOSE the visa she has. She had to have known the restrictions that came with it.

Whoa there BOK! It”s just me. I get what you are saying, however, this new policy that President Obama has put forth is my point. I believe Nina’s story specifically speaks to this issue.

Why did we make some jump through the hoops for years, allow them to follow all the rules without fail and then just give an across the board exemption of the laws to others?

To me it would be like a slap in the face.

I’m just sayin’…

Hey, how ya doin’ Kitty? We don’t often get the chance to argue with each other anymore! LOL Look forward to the challenge and the company!

GTR5 writes:

All illegals need to be picked up and deported. All of them and send their anchor babies with them.

Smoke_Diver writes:

in response to 3rdWorldObamanation:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So here's what I don't understand... What is your problem with legitimizing potentially hundreds of thousands of immigrants who will be, if anything, at least marginally contributing in the form of sales, income, social security and Medicare tax revenue?

If anything, you're at least offsetting the cost of the baby boom generation who, in all honesty, are going to bankrupt social security and Medicare long before illegal immigrants.

AnnetteKniola writes:

Hand out their green cards with their diploma.

TSOL writes:

I find this funny all the latino's and illegals cheer lord Odumbo and his free ride B.S. I thought just a couple of months ago he was touting his record number of deportations. Oh that's right this is just in time for the election. The joke will really be on all these illegals if Obumble gets re-elected and ramps up the deportations again after the election.

staghorn writes:

relax, rick scott 'promised' to rid the state of florida all illegals, remember?
http://www.archivoelectoral.org/video...

thanks rick scott

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