Miami – Undocumented immigrant youths will receive assistance with applications for Deferred Action during a free legal clinic on Saturday, March 30, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the University of Miami Bank United Center, 1245 Dauer Dr., Coral Gables.
The clinic is free for eligible applicants who meet the guidelines defined by USCIS. Participants are encouraged to make an appointment online at fldream.org and bring all the documents required for the application.
Thousands of young undocumented immigrants in Florida are eligible for deferred deportation and a work permit through the U.S. Deferred Action process. Since the process was announced, however, only 20,250 people in Florida have applied, out of the 140,000 estimated to be eligible in the state.
FL Dream, a local organization with clinic programming, will mobilize volunteers and students at the University of Miami School of Law to assist eligible DREAMers. FL Dream will continue disbursing mini-grants for the application fee through its initiative that kicked off in January with an initial investment of $10,000.
Fifty individuals will be chosen from an application process to receive a mini grant of $465 to help cover the cost of the DACA fee.
The project encourages young people to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which is an immigration benefit for young people initiated by President Obama in 2012 that can lead to a driver’s license, work permit, and access to college.
Young people ages 15 – 29 who have lived in the United States since at least 2007, have completed or are currently enrolled in school, and do not have any serious criminal convictions are eligible to apply.
Regarding the need for the initiative, Amanda Roesch of the University of Miami School of Law said: “Helping young people obtain this critical benefit is an important step toward pursuing positive change in our communities. There are so many young people out there who deserve this benefit. Without these legal clinics, they might not apply.”
This advocacy initiative will be a collaborative effort connecting law students from the University of Miami and organizers from FL Dream, SWER (Students Working for Equal Rights), DREAMers’ Moms, FLIC (Florida Immigrant Coalition), and Own the Dream Campaign. FL Dream has organized successfully 15 clinics in South Florida that have been able to help approximately 1,200 undocumented youth.