LOS ANGELES (Nov. 19, 2012) — After President Obama’s re-election, the Obama Administration confirmed that it will continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that provides certain undocumented young people with work authorization and safety from deportation for two years, with the opportunity for renewal.
In light of the Obama Administration’s ongoing commitment to DACA, APALC is offering free workshops into 2013 to help eligible youth apply for DACA.
“If you are an undocumented youth and Asian American or Pacific Islander, you are not alone. There are an estimated 37,033 undocumented Asian American youth in California,’’ said APALC President and Executive Director Stewart Kwoh. “We encourage any youth who believes they meet the eligibility criteria to come forward and let us help you apply at no cost for deferred action.”
Since (DACA) was announced in August, APALC has assisted at no cost more than 700 DACA applicants, including hundreds of Asian American youth (also known as “DREAMers”), through our in-house workshops. APALC clients were among the first to receive DACA approvals.
Since the DACA program began in August 2012, APALC has hosted 26 free DACA workshops and legal clinics throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties, as well as trained 53 volunteer attorneys and law students to assist qualified undocumented youth.
“I am privileged to be approved for DACA given that not every immigrant is allowed this opportunity. DACA allows me to better serve my community, by allowing me to come out of the shadows and legally work. I especially encourage my fellow Asian American DREAMers to step out of the shadows to empower themselves as well as take advantage of this opportunity. I’ve always wanted to be a community lawyer and now I can really pursue that dream,’’ said Asian American DREAMer Anthony Ng, who has been organizing other Asian American undocumented youth.
Only certain undocumented youth are eligible to apply for DACA. Eligibility criteria include:
• Arrived in the United States before your 16th birthday
• Be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
• Have continuously resided in the United States for 5 years before June 15, 2012 and at the time of application to USCIS
• Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012 or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012
• Currently be in school, have graduated high school, or obtained a general education development certificate (G.E.D.), or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
• Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
• Pass a background check
In the next six weeks, workshops will be held every week at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center at 1145 Wilshire Blvd., 1st Floor Community Room, Los Angeles, CA 90017. In 2013, workshops will be held every Thursday at the same location at APALC. Call one of the following language hotline numbers to schedule an appointment or if you have additional questions: Chinese: (800) 520-2356; Khmer: (800) 867-3126; Korean: (800) 867-3640; Thai: (800) 914-9583; Vietnamese: (800) 267-7395; English/Tagalog/Spanish: (888) 349-9695.
Applicants will be responsible for the USCIS processing/filing fee of $465.
The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, is the nation’s largest Asian American legal and civil rights organization and serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year.
Founded in 1983, APALC advocates for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society. Through direct legal services, impact litigation, policy analysis and advocacy, leadership development and capacity building, APALC seeks to serve the most vulnerable members of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities while also building a strong Asian American and NHPI voice for civil rights and social justice.