Tomorrow, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Avondale YMCA, the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic will host a clinic for DACA recipients in need of status renewal before the October 5 deadline.
DACA -- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals -- offers 800,000 previously undocumented young people (often called Dreamers, in reference to the still-unpassed DREAM Act) protection from deportation and the ability to work lawfully in the US. Approximately 10,000 Hoosiers are protected by DACA, which was established by the Obama administration in 2012. DACA recipients must have been brought into the US as children, must have lived continuously in the US for a number of years, and must have no criminal record.
President Donald Trump rescinded DACA, with a six-month delay, on September 5. This action was a core promise of his immigrant-hostile campaign, but polls show most Americans support DACA recipients maintaining their status. After his administration announced the rescission of the program, Trump himself issued a series of tweets doubling back on his position, one of which read, "Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!....."
DACA recipients whose permit will expire between now and March 5 must renew their application by October 5 to retain their status. DACA permits expire every two years.
Emma Mahern, Associate Attorney at Muñoz Legal, talks about the questions and concerns of her clients, DACA recipients among them.
A press release issued today by the NCLC reads, "At this event visitors can: renew DACA status (if eligible), assess eligibility for other possible forms of immigration relief, and receive legal advice for DACA recipients and their families. Please bring 2 passport size photos and a $495 money order for DACA renewal. There may be scholarships available for the DACA renewal application fee." Those whose status expires after March 5 are still encouraged to attend to gather information and legal advice about future status.
"We are not requiring registration so we anticipate most participants to be walk-ins," says Emily Bricker, Immigrant Justice Program Manager at the NCLC. "Because of this, we do not have a concrete projection of how many will come. We have 10 pre-registered, but are prepared for as many as are able to come. Ten volunteer attorneys and 5 general attorneys provided by Ice Miller will be in attendance.
"San Fransisco based Mission Asset Fund is offering scholarships to cover the $495 application fee. We completed 8 DACA renewal applications last week and all of them received the scholarship to cover the fee. At tomorrow's event we will apply for all of our participants, but there is not a 100 percent guarantee they will receive scholarships," she adds.
We can’t allow policies fueled by hate and fear to marginalize hardworking people who only want to contribute to work, live and serve the United States.
Ice Miller LLP is a sponsor of tomorrow's event at the YMCA, and will provide all financial support, food and volunteers needed. In a press release, partner and chair of Ice Miller's Labor, Employment and Immigration Practice Group Jen Brown says, "We believe it is important to assist vulnerable populations where we are able, and this event gives us a timely and important opportunity to provide aid in response to a critical need."
The Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance (IUYA) organized a crowdfunding effort to supply the $495 fee for Hoosier DACA recipients who cannot afford it alone. Those interested in contributing to the fund can find that here.
The NCLC will host another DACA Renewal Day on September 25. Those looking to support the work of the Clinic can attend the Justice For All Gala at Indiana Landmarks on October 5.