Is Facebook valid proof of residency for Obama’s immigration program? Maybe. But, the process is too confusing to know for sure. From today’s Washington Post:
Queybin Cabrera-Matute, a burly 20-year-old Honduran who arrived in the United States illegally as a child 11 years ago, is hoping his Facebook page might be the ticket to a better life.
He was one of hundreds of young people who lined up last week at the Hyattsville office of CASA of Maryland, an immigrant advocacy organization, to apply for the government’s new deferred-action program, which would allow them to live and work here without fear of deportation.
To qualify, Cabrera-Matute must prove that he has lived in the United States since graduating last year from Friendly High School in Fort Washington. He has no official records to cover the whole 16-month period, but, on his girlfriend’s suggestion, he brought in printouts documenting his casual habit of “checking in” on his Facebook page — from the mall, from Olive Garden. “It just lets all my friends know what I’m doing, in case they want to join.”
That, said a CASA adviser, might be enough to qualify him. Or it might not.
It can be daunting for immigrants in the country illegally to document their lives here. Many have spent years trying not to leave a footprint — working at jobs that pay in cash under the table, or using fake names and Social Security numbers to get work. To qualify for deferred action now, they must try to create a paper trail.
But in some cases, it is unclear what sort of documentation is acceptable, and this has created frustration for applicants and charges from critics that the system will be easy to game.
The confusion stems in part from instructions put out by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services stating that, along with things such as bank transactions, utility bills and school records, applicants can send in any “other document you believe is relevant.”
“You can provide copies of anything . . . of course, there’s going to be fraud here,” said Brad Botwin, director of Help Save Maryland, a group opposed to legalization for undocumented immigrants. “They’re never going to show us what documents they accepted, so it’s all smoke and mirrors by Homeland Security.”