Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (ICE) will begin accepting requests from young undocumented immigrants hoping to quality for President Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program that would grant them protection from deportation and work permits for at least two years. It is estimated that more than one million young people brought to the U.S. as children and raised in the country may be eligible for the program.
In order to be granted the two-year protection from deportation, the young undocumented immigrants popularly known as DREAMers will have to pay a $465 fee, pass background checks and offer up biometric data, as well as clear other paperwork hurdles. ICE has pledged to keep the information that DREAMers provide in their applications confidential and away from the enforcement side of the Department of Homeland Security unless the applicant commits fraud by lying on their applications, or if applicants have serious criminal records.
“President Obama’s announcement brings peace and relief to many DREAMers,” Lorella Praeli, a member of the United We Dream network, told Colorlines.com earlier this month. “It is one step in the right direction after years of work that will allow students to apply their professional degrees and know that they need not fear deportation, that they will be able to continue living as Americans in the only country they call home.”
Recognizing that the application fee of $465 may prevent some from applying to the deferred action program, Public Interest Projects has launched a national fundraising effort to support DREAMers who need financial assistance. The public charity group has dubbed the program “Fund for DREAMers” and say they’ll disperse the funds to eligible low-income DREAMers through “vetted local groups via a rigorous allocation process.”
To learn more about the Fund for DREAMers and/or to make a donation visit http://bit.ly/Fund4Dreamers.