September 19, 2017
By Kevin Walsh
On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced the rescission of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). DACA was put in place through an executive action by President Obama in 2012 for unauthorized immigrants who entered the U.S. at an early age. DACA status allows recipients an opportunity to remain in the U.S. to work or study provided that they meet certain conditions, for a period of two years, subject to renewal.
There are about 800,000 DACA recipients nationwide and about 28,000 DACA recipients in Arizona, according to the Pew Research Center. The decision to rescind DACA subjects these DACA recipients to the risk of deportation.
The Department of Homeland Security has advised that current DACA recipients whose benefits will expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 have until October 5, 2017 to submit their renewal application. If your DACA status expires after March 5, 2018, then you have no ability to renew, and your DACA status will expire on its scheduled expiration date. The Department of Homeland Security is not considering new DACA applications, so if you’re not currently a DACA recipient, then it is too late to apply now.
Volunteers throughout Legislative District 18 and beyond are coming together to help DACA recipients in our community. Recently, I participated a volunteer training session attended by over a hundred attorneys who committed to providing free legal services to DACA renewal applicants. It was inspiring to see our legal community come together for such an important cause.
There are many opportunities to help. Chicanos Por La Causa is organizing DACA renewal information sessions and application clinics on September 21-23. Aliento is hosting a DACA renewal and citizenship workshop on September 23. LUCHA (Living United for Change in Arizona) is also hosting DACA Renewal Clinics every Monday through Saturday until the renewal deadline on October 5. Volunteers of all types are needed at these events. Others are helping to raise funds to defray the cost of $495 renewal fee for applicants.
For more information and to learn how to volunteer, email Kevin Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org.