NEW YORK, NY — Yesterday, volunteer immigration attorneys, policy experts, and New York Dreamers offered a legal clinic for eligible Dreamers who need to renew their DACA status, and answered questions on the latest news regarding the DACA case at the U.S. Supreme Court. Elected officials joined Dreamers in support.
The Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments on November 12, 2019, to determine if the Trump administration terminated the DACA program lawfully or not. As a result of the complex litigation in course, there is great confusion in the DACA community on whether it is still possible to renew DACA. The clinic served as an opportunity to spread the message that DACA renewals are still being accepted.
The clinic took place in the offices of law firm Akin Gump at the Bank of America Tower where 30 DACA applications were renewed.
For the past two years, the Trump Administration has been attempting to end the DACA program, an incredibly successful program that currently allows nearly 700,000 hardworking young people to contribute more fully to our communities and our economy. In New York, there are over 29,390 DACA beneficiaries whose lives would be thrown into chaos if this program ends. DACA has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people to pursue higher education, buy homes and start businesses, advance their careers, and better provide for their families in the country they call home.
“DACA recipients greatly contribute to our city and country. They make our communities stronger, as well as our economy and labor force. Like all New Yorkers, they deserve the opportunity to live free from fear,” said Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “I commend the efforts of Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC, Akin Gump, FWD.us, and all who ensure that NYC Dreamers have the information and resources they need to consider their renewal options and seek legal help.”
“DACA recipients are students, medical providers, business owners, parents, and teachers who have contributed to our country in countless ways. Ending DACA would be devastating for DACA recipients, their families, our communities, and the economy. The Supreme Court should agree with what federal courts across the country have made clear: the Trump Administration’s decision to terminate DACA was unlawful,” said Oscar Montes, Immigration Staff Attorney at Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC. “Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC was proud to partner with Akin Gump and FWD.us for this clinic to ensure that local DACA recipients have the opportunity to renew their status. We encourage all eligible DACA recipients to renew as soon as possible as we await the outcome of the Supreme Court case.”
“Ensuring access to justice and the rule of law are cornerstones of our pro bono work,” stated Lauren Connell, pro bono counsel at Akin Gump. “We were proud to host the DACA renewal clinic along with Cabrini and FWD.us and to provide this opportunity for eligible Dreamers to renew their status and have their questions addressed.”
“The Department of Homeland Security is still open to accepting DACA renewals,” said New York State Manager at FWD.us, Eddie A. Taveras. “The best way for all DACA recipients to protect themselves is to renew as soon as possible. As they have their lives put on hold and await the outcomes of the November 12 Supreme court case, renewing DACA applications is imperative for this community.”
Background on DACA Renewals:
Despite the legal twists and turns challenging the DACA program, current DACA recipients are still able to renew their protections because of the incredible efforts of so many advocates and young people.
This past July, FWD.us launched the DACA Renewals Now campaign, a long-term educational campaign and resource drive to support the nearly 700,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients who are impacted by changes to the DACA program. The campaign, housed under Informed Immigrant and Inmigrante Informado, is helping to encourage and facilitate DACA renewals for Dreamers by driving donations to organizations working around renewals, raising public awareness, and partnering with organizations to offer other related services, such as renewal clinics.
The launch of the DACA Renewals Now campaign is FWD.us’ second DACA-related donations program. On June 28, FWD.us and GoFundMe announced a renewed partnership to boost donations to the Protect DACA Fund, a nationwide effort started in 2018 to provide support to Dreamers across the country.