Free Legal Help for DREAMers Applying for DACA


Back in August, hundreds of young people filled CARECEN’s office wanting to apply for the new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for DREAMers. Since that initial rush, new applications have fallen off dramatically, even though nearly two-thirds of those who qualify for DACA have yet to apply.

Many young people who are out of school don’t realize that they can apply for DACA even if they never graduated from high school. Others tell us that they have not applied because they don’t have the money for legal help in filling out the forms.

If you were under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012, entered the U.S. before June 15, 2007, and were under 16 when you entered, you may be eligible for DACA. If your DACA application is approved you will receive permission to live and work in the United States, and you will be able to apply for a New York State Driver’s License.

CARECEN is teaming up with Hofstra University School of Law’s Immigration Law Clinic to offer a free information session on applying for DACA. The workshop will be held on April 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM at CARECEN’s office at 91 N. Franklin St., Room 208, in Hempstead. Call 516-489-8330 next week for directions.

I co-direct the Immigration Law Clinic with Professor Lauris Wren.

Anyone attending the workshop will be eligible for FREE legal assistance in filing for DACA.

CARECEN has already helped 400 people apply for DACA. Many of those who have applied have already received work authorization. This is a program that gives you a real opportunity to live in the United States with dignity while we wait for our elected officials to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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