Organizations, elected officials and community leaders have announced meetings and workshops to inform and prepare young undocumented immigrants who plan to apply for what is now being called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Deferred action—or the Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children directive announced in July—could grant temporary relief from deportation to some young immigrants who meet certain criteria; it could also make them eligible to receive a work permit and a driver’s license in California.
Deferred action targets undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US before the age of 16; are no 30-years-old or younger; have lived in the United States continuously for at least five years; are enrolled in school, graduated from high school or obtained a general education development certificate (GED); have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces; have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, multiple misdemeanors or pose a threat to national security.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start accepting applications this Wednesday, Aug. 15.
Workshops to guide undocumented youth are already underway.
On Saturday, Los Angeles Councilman Erick Garcetti, in conjunction with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), held a town hall style meeting at El Centro del Pueblo in Echo Park to inform the young immigrants in attendance about the application process.
CHIRLA and the California Dream Network, CHIRLA’s statewide youth branch, have several other educational style forums planned.
The schedule is as follows:
—Today, Monday, Aug. 13, 6-8 p.m. at Central American Resource Center (CARECEN): 2845 West 7th St., Los Angeles, CA 90057.
—Tuesday, Aug. 21 with Representative Howard Berman. The workshop will take place from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at 7915 Van Nuys Boulevard, Van Nuys, Ca 91402.
—Saturday, Aug. 25 with US Representatives Grace Napolitano and Judy Chu. The workshop will be from 9:30am to 12 noon at the El Monte Community Center, 3130 Tyler Ave., El Monte, CA.
—Sunday, Aug. 26, from 11am to 1pm at Templo Renacer, located at 13027 Pierce Street, Pacoima, CA 91331.
Individuals are urged to be cautious of immigration scams that could result in their deportation.
CHIRLA is also conducting workshops every hour on the hour from 10am to 4pm, Monday through Friday at their headquarters located at 2533 West 3rd Street, suite 101, Los Angeles, Ca 90057. CHIRLA is charging a small fee to evaluate individual’s forms and help fill out the application.
For more information and for updates visit www.chirla.org or call 1-866-6CHIRLA.
Editor’s note an earlier version of this post indicated the wrong day of the week for the workshops on Aug. 25 and Aug. 26. The error has been corrected.