Tag: DHS

DACA Legal Clinics and Resources

On Sept. 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced that it would be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as of March 5, 2018.

Update – January 16, 2018: USCIS has posted instructions on how it will begin accepting DACA renewal applications in response to a federal judge’s decision. This only applies to individuals who already have had DACA granted in the past and not to people who would like to pursue initial applications. Here is a link to their announcement. In addition, the Mission Asset Fund has announced that they are accepting applications for scholarships to pay for the renewal application fee at this link.

What is DACA? What are Dreamers?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has been a program established by President Obama in 2012 that granted a temporary protection from deportation known as “deferred action” to undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before the age of 16, resided in the U.S. since June 2007, and met other requirements. The 787,580 people protected under this program have been referred to as “Dreamers.”

For more general information on DACA and Dreamers in the news today, check out this article from the Guardian.

What does this mean for folks living in Washington?

The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) has put together the following community advisory for community members interested in renewing their DACA applications.

City of Seattle DACA Resources – Several helpful resources from the City of Seattle

DACA Information – Spanish – Courtesy of Seattle.gov

DACA Information – Traditional Chinese – Courtesy of Seattle.gov

DACA Information – Vietnamese – Courtesy of Seattle.gov

DACA Information – Korean – Courtesy of Seattle.gov

About DACA and Employment – from National Immigrant Law Center

State Financial Aid for Undocumented Immigrant Youth – from Ready Set Grad

DACA and Workplace Rights – from National Immigration Law Center

Deferred Action Policy Explanation & What to do NOW – from Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Understanding the Criminal Bars to Deferred Action – from Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Proceso de Accion Diferida a Favor de los Jovenes Indocumentados – from National Immigration Law Center & United We Dream Network

What Does Obama’s Directive on “Direct Action” Mean for Me? In Urdu, Korean, Chinese, Bengali – from Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund

Information from Federal Agencies

Updated Information from USCIS – from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Information Regarding Social Security Numbers and DACA – from U.S. Social Security Administration

Department of Education Resource Guide for Undocumented Students – from the US Department of Education

The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the City of Seattle also have DACA webpages with current information, resources and listings of free legal clinics.

Contact Your Representatives

Stay in the Loop

For the most up-to-date information on the status of DACA, be sure to visit the Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs DACA resource page.

Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice sends letter to Department of Homeland Security regarding immigration enforcement activities in Washington Courts

In response to a recent uptick in immigration enforcement activities around Washington courthouses, Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst sent a letter to Secretary John Kelly of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security expressing concerns and possible solutions. Full text of the letter can be found by clicking here.

Citing reports from lawyers and judges about this increased presence, Fairhurst said, “These developments are deeply troubling because they impede the fundamental mission of our courts, which is to ensure due process and access to justice for everyone, regardless of immigration status.

Highlighting that the fear of apprehension, even for those with lawful immigration status, may deter individuals from accessing courthouses, Fairhurst said, “Our ability to function relies on individuals who voluntarily appear to participate and cooperate in the process of justice.”

“When people are afraid to appear for court hearings, out of fear of apprehension, their ability to access justice is compromised,” she said, adding, “their absence curtails the capacity of our judges, clerks and court personnel to function effectively…and risk making our communities less safe.” Lawyers report that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activities are occurring at courthouses in Clark, Clallam, Cowlitz, King, Skagit and Mason counties.

In addition to welcoming a meeting to discuss the issue further, Fairhurst encourages the Department to designate courthouses as “sensitive locations” – a term used by the Department of Homeland Security in Policy 10029.2 to guide and limit such activities in locations such as schools and universities, places of worship, community centers and hospitals.

While a “sensitive location” designation does not preclude enforcement actions on these sites, the policy states that these venues will generally be avoided to enhance the public understanding and trust to ensure people seeking to participate in activities or utilize services are free to do so without fear or hesitation.

Designating courts as sensitive locations will, “assist us in maintaining the trust that is required for the court to be a safe and neutral public forum. It will assure our residents that they can and should appear for court hearings without fear of apprehension for civil immigration violations,” wrote Fairhurst.

 

Read the original version of this article here.


Washington Courts Media Contacts:

Wendy K. Ferrell
Judicial Communications Manager
360.705.5331
e-mail Wendy.Ferrell@courts.wa.gov
Lorrie Thompson
Communications Officer
360.705.5347
Lorrie.Thompson@courts.wa.gov