Nearly one million young DREAM students are now eligible to apply for the “Deferred Action” policy, allowing them to work and live in the United States for up to two years without fear of deportation.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) began accepting applications for the Deferred Action policy for DREAMers on August 15th. Public education workshops and meetings are being held nationwide to make the process as easy as possible for DREAMers.
Applicants will need to provide documentation proving that they are between ages 15 and 31, that they came to the United States under the age of 16, that they’ve been in the US or at least 5 years, and that they’re currently in school, recently graduated from school, or are a member of the armed services. Applicants will also need to pay an application fee.
Several AJS’s affiliates are doing workshops and holding press conferences today to lift up the stories of DREAMers across the country. For instance, Make the Road NY held a public event in Queens, and a series of events to follow. The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) held a press conference in Reno to announce the beginning of the application process. In Washington State, Washington Community Action Network joined One America for a press event at the Seattle Central Community College. And the Idaho Community Action Network held a press conference with dreamers – in addition to holding educational workshops throughout the state during the rest of the month.
At the Alliance for a Just Society, we know that this is the right step in the right direction, but is just one step. Through our on-going organizing and civic engagement efforts we will continue to fight for comprehensive immigration reform.
Let’s not forget that today is a day of celebration; today, we celebrate over 10 years of organizing. Since the early 2000s we have been fighting to make the DREAM a Reality! But the fight is not over. The time is now for young people to come out of the shadows and begin realizing their dream.