A new Obama administration policy will set up deferments for undocumented immigrants who often came to the country as small children.Tthose who meet certain work and school requirements can receive two-year deferments from deportation by federal law enforcement. Local immigration attorneys and activists are hosting a series of workshops in the coming week all about the program and how to apply. They are also looking for volunteers to help coordinate.---
While the federal DREAM Act that would have offered children of undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship was killed by Congress, in June, President Barack Obama approved a deferment program aimed at the same demographic of children often brought to the country without papers at young ages and who have been contributing members of society despite their lack of legal recognition. According to the policy, undocumented immigrants between the ages of 15 and 30 who have lived continuously in the United States for the past five years, have had no felonies or serious misdemeanors, and have either earned a GED, graduated from high school or served in the military are eligible.
If approved, the individual will for two years be deferred from deportation by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officers, a move that could affect as many as 1.7 million young undocumented immigrants in the country, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association of Utah are hosting, along with the Salt Lake DREAM Team, a number of workshops and info sessions. Participants can attend for free and get all of their documents filled out, vetted and mailed off with the help of volunteers and trained legal staff. If you are interested in volunteering at one of the events, e-mail: Utah.DAW.firstname.lastname@example.org or Jessica Carlson at FromJessicaCarlson@gmail.com The workshops begin tonight.
Thursday, Aug. 23
Salt Lake City
Centro Civico Mexicano, 5:30 p.m.
155 S. 600 West
Friday, Aug. 24
Catholic Community Services, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
St. George Community Legal Center
229 St. George Boulevard
Saturday, Aug. 25
Catholic Community Services, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
St. George Community Legal Center 229 St. George Boulevard
West Valley City
Salt Lake DREAM Team, (info session) 6 p.m.
Utah Cultural Celebration Center
1355 W. 3100 South
Monday, Aug. 27
Centro Hispano, 6 p.m.
Dixon Middle School 750 W. 200 North
Thursday, Aug. 30
Federacion de Mexicanos Unidos de Utah, 7 p.m.
5107 S. 5600 West
For info on other workshops, contact AILA Utah Chair Chris Keen at 801-374-5336 or e-mail Chris@KeenLegal.com