HOUSTON, TX— Today, volunteer immigration attorneys, policy experts, and Houston 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.
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 at FIEL Houston where 26 DACA renewal applications were completed.
For the past two years, the Trump Administration has been attempting to end the DACA, an incredibly successful program that currently allows nearly 700,000 hardworking young people to contribute more fully to our communities and our economy. In Texas, there are over 109,000 DACA recipients and 46,700 U.S. citizen children of Dreamers 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.
“As a College Counselor at the high school level, I give a lot of support to current students and sometimes lack self-care. Because of the current financial and political climate, I have become the primary source of income at home supporting my family. My mom is not working, my dad’s hours at work got cut, my little brother is a freshman in high school and requires a lot of financial support, and my sister and I are in college. Given the opportunity of this grant means a lot to me because it’s alleviating a huge expense that I currently can’t afford,” said college counselor and Houston DACA recipient, Emanuel Quiroz.
“During these trying times, it is of vital importance that we help out the immigrant community. It has brought us immense happiness to be able to help out the DREAMer community throughout the years in order to complete their DACA process,” said Cesar Espinosa Executive Director FIEL Houston Inc. “Today it brings us great joy that through the partnership with FWD.us and Informed Immigrant we were able to assist even more DACA recipients. Our hope is that the Supreme Court rules in our favor but no matter the outcome our community will continue to prevail and fight back. In the meantime, we encourage all eligible DACA recipients to continue to process their renewals.”
“Dreamers are deeply ingrained in Texas communities and work in virtually every sector of the state economy, helping to power key industries and employ thousands of native-born Americans,” said Zaira Garcia, FWD.us’ Texas State Director. “We encourage eligible DACA recipients to renew without delay, and we urge members of Congress to pass a permanent legislative solution that would provide DACA recipients the stability to continue building their lives here.”
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.