Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) welcomes the beginning of the Obama administration’s deferred action initiative for immigrant youth as we launch DREAMerJustice.org, an online self-assessment tool to help non-citizens determine their eligibility for relief and find qualified legal service providers to help with their applications.
“The government’s deferred action initiative will strengthen our economy and society by allowing young women and men who have been raised and educated in the United States the opportunity to remain here with their families, continue their schooling, and give back to our communities,” said NIJC Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy. “NIJC is committed to ensuring that immigrant youth have access to qualified legal services that will help them protect their rights and their families during the application process.”
To be eligible for the DREAMer initiative, immigrant youth must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, and have first came to the United States before the age of 16. They must have lived continuously in the United States since June 2007. They must be enrolled in or graduated from high school and/or obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the military. Additionally, eligible youth must not have been convicted of certain crimes.
NIJC is partnering with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the Immigrant Youth Justice League, and the National Immigrant Youth Alliance to promote DREAMerJustice.org and ensure immigrant communities have access to quality legal information about the deferred action initiative. DREAMerJustice.org will be available at midnight on August 15.
“DREAMerJustice.org will increase access to legal resources for people nationally,” said NIJC Director of Legal Services Mony Ruiz-Velasco. “This tool will simplify the application process for thousands of immigrant youth, provide comprehensive legal referrals to qualified providers, and help families avoid notary fraud.”
NIJC and pro bono attorneys from law firms and corporate legal departments also will hold clinics to provide legal representation to eligible DREAMers. For updates about the deferred action initiative and NIJC’s legal services, visit www.immigrantjustice.org/DREAMers.
Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center is a Chicago-based nongovernmental organization dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers through a unique combination of direct services, policy reform, impact litigation and public education. For more information visit www.immigrantjustice.org.