Many States Fight Immigration Overhaul for Youths
Reyna Avila, a Phoenix college student who received a work permit and Social Security card under a new Obama administration policy for young immigrants, still cannot drive to work or school without risking criminal charges.
—Ross D. Franklin/AP
By The Associated Press
President Barack Obama’s decision last year to allow young people living in the U.S. illegally to stay and work marked the biggest shift in immigration policy in decades, hailed as a landmark step toward the American dream for a generation of immigrants.
But months later, many immigrants are having vastly different reactions to the change depending on where they live, and they aren’t flocking to the program at the levels the government originally expected.
A handful of Republican-led states are blocking basic benefits for those in the program, denying beneficiaries identification cards, driver’s licenses, health care, in-state tuition, student financial aid, college admission or other privileges typically…