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With Obama's DREAM Relief Policy, It's Back to School (or GED) Time for Many DREAMers

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Cross-Posted at The Sanctuary:

President Barack Obama’s announcement on June 15, 2012 granting deferred action for eligible undocumented youth has lifted DREAMers’ hopes about their ability to obtain work permits and removed the fear of deportation.

However, with the excitement comes the need to do whatever it takes to start the application process as soon as possible. There is where notarios and lawyers across the U.S. are taking advantage. Please be aware that there is no application process yet and that we are waiting for one to start 60 days after the official announcement, which will be August 15, 2012.

What DREAMers who qualify under the deferred action criteria should do right now is focus on obtaining the educational component of the criteria: DREAMers who qualify “are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.”

The message is clear: DREAMers under 30 years old that have dropped out of high school, go back to school or obtain your GED.

Justino Mora, a DREAM Act eligible youth from the California DREAM network, was recently interviewed by Es el momento at Univision.com as saying:

“We are asking that all students go back to school immediately…maybe you dropped out in the 11th grade…as long as you go back to school, start to take classes and can verify it with the proper documentation from the school, then you will be able to qualify” for deferred action.

“The most important thing is that the immigrant community be informed that this opportunity is available to them…we need to make sure that eligible undocumented youth are able to continue their lives without the fear of deportation.”

Mora also warned about the dangers of notario and lawyer fraud, and made the point to clarify what the deferred action grants:

  • A work permit that must be renewed every two years.
  • A Social Security number.

It does not grant residency or citizenship.

As for the GED, we’ve compiled a short list of important FAQs from the GED official website.

What is the GED test?

The GED® test is designed to measure the skills and knowledge equivalent to a high school course of study. The five content areas that comprise the GED® test are mathematics; language arts, reading; language arts, writing (including essay); science; and social studies.

You qualify to take the GED if:

  • You are not enrolled in high school
  • You have not graduated from high school
  • You are at least 16 years old
  • You meet state, provincial, or territorial requirements regarding age, residency, and the length of time since leaving school

Since every state has their own policy regarding GED eligibility and registration, please check with your state, province, or territory’s contact person to find out about how to register for testing. In Arizona, for example, the GED is funded differently from location to location so students should go to the specific testing site.

How much does it cost to take the GED® test?

What does it mean to pass the GED® test?

  • In order to pass the GED® test, an examinee must have a combined passing score of 2250; in addition, each individual subject area test score must be 410 or greater.

For a free GED online course, click here.

What if I don’t pass all the content areas the first time?

  • You can take one or more of the tests again. However, note that many jurisdictions have special requirements for candidates who don’t pass the GED® tests the first time. You may be required to wait several months or show proof of attending a preparation course before you’re permitted to re-test. You may also have to pay an additional fee. For the specific regulations in your area, check with your state, province, or territory’s contact person for GED® testing.