January 2013 • Vol. 33 No. 1 | An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program: LACBA Assists with Applications

In 2012, President Barack Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), a discretionary policy that defers removal action for certain applicants and is renewable every two years, for people ages 30 and younger who were brought to the United States as children. Proof is most easily achieved by submitting high school and college transcripts. 

To qualify for the program, applicants must meet several key guidelines, such as proof they have resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, proof they came to the United States before their 16th birthday, and proof they were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012. (For more information about DACA and a full list of qualifications, please visit www.uscis.gov.) 

Since the program was implemented in mid-August 2012, more than 300,000 applications have been accepted for consideration by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 124,000 applications are under review, and more than 53,000 eligible youth have been approved. 

To help meet this overwhelming response, the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Immigration Legal Assistance Project has begun training and deploying attorneys to assist DACA applicants locally. Nearly 120 attorneys attended the LACBA Immigration Section’s first training on August 14, 2012, just one day before the DACA application filing was to begin. 

Since the implementation of the DACA program, LACBA’s Immigration Project has held public clinics at James Garfield High School and the Benjamin Franklin Library in East Los Angeles, seen an additional 1,000 clients, and assisted in processing more than 350 applications.  

The Immigration Project's next DACA training is scheduled for January 17, 2013 at the LA Law Library, 301 W. First Street, Los Angeles, from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m. following the Barristers’ program “In re Garcia Panel Discussion—Can Undocumented Individuals in California Practice Law?” that runs from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.  

The Deferred Action CLE Training is provided by LACBA’s Barristers and Immigration Section and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles to educate pro bono volunteers on how to help individuals apply for deferred action under President Obama’s DACA Policy. Attendees of the free training will also have the opportunity to volunteer at LACBA’s Immigration Project and its Immigration Section-sponsored clinics to assist eligible youth with their applications.  

Those who want to only attend the free DACA training portion of the program and do not plan to attend the “In re Garcia Ethics CLE Panel Discussion” should not register in advance but instead should arrive at the LA Law Library at 7:30 p.m. to register onsite for the training only. 

To learn more about DACA training and volunteer opportunities, please contact Mary Mucha, directing attorney of the Immigration Legal Assistance Project, at mmucha@lacba.org


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