President Obama’s June 15 announcement regarding DREAMers has energized Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the community. On that date, the President announced that his Administration would grant a form of immigration protection known as “deferred action” to undocumented individuals who came to the United States before the age of 16, had resided in the U.S. for five years as of June 15, 2012 and met other criteria. Since then, NWIRP has taken many steps to respond and I wanted to give you an update on those efforts.
As you can imagine, our offices have been flooded with calls and emails from community members seeking information about this new policy. We have explained that, while the President has announced this change of policy, there is still no process in place for individuals who are not in deportation proceedings to apply for this new program. We have also been working on the following efforts:
|New DREAMer Webpage: We are excited to share a new page on our website housing the community education materials NWIRP has developed, as well as information from partners across the country and government agencies. Visit the webpage at nwirp.org/dream. On this page, you’ll be able to find our community advisory, as well as our community education videos, available in English and Spanish. The Spanish version of this page is expected to go live early next week.
Resource Guide for Education Requirement: In order to qualify for the deferred action program, undocumented youth need to establish that they are enrolled in school, have completed high school or have obtained a GED certificate. We have put together a guide that will be useful to individuals seeking to meet this aspect of the deferred action program.
Community Workshops: NWIRP anticipates a huge need for legal assistance and education once U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announces the process and guidelines to apply for this deferred action program. NWIRP is working with community partners around Washington State to respond to this need. We will post information about these workshops on our website and through our listserv. If you are interested in helping put together a workshop in your community or through your organization, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dedicated Staff: In order to address the urgent need for legal assistance created by the President’s announcement, NWIRP will soon be hiring two temporary attorney positions to provide services to low-income individuals who may benefit from this new policy. One of these positions will be working out of our Granger office and will provide assistance in Eastern Washington, while the other will be based in Seattle and will serve Western Washington.
As always, we are grateful for the steadfast community support that makes all of this work possible and will enable us to serve this client population. We invite you to forward this on to your networks, and we look forward to sending additional updates in the coming weeks.
Jorge L. Barón
Our next Stop The Checkpoints meeting
is on Saturday, July 7th from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
at the Museum at the Carnegie (207 South Lincoln Street, Port Angeles, WA)
in the lower level meeting room.
It will be a community information meeting with guest speaker attorney Lisa
Seifert from Olympia, who will give us details on President Obama’s recent
executive order creating a deferred action program for undocumented
youth brought to the US. before age 16.
We will discuss -
* What exactly is deferral?
* Why did the President act now?
* What happens if Pres. Obama is not re-elected?
* Is it safe to come forward if you are undocumented?
* How to get more information about eligibility
This meeting will be a safe place to discuss the program.
This information is of vital importance to all immigrants and to anyone who
knows immigrant youth and families. There will be ample time for questions and
discussion. # # #