Alderman Donates to Cover Legal Fees for 50 DACA Recipients

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

On Tuesday evening at Benito Juarez High School, Alderman Daniel Solis announced a contribution of $30,000 for to cover the legal fees and filing costs for 50 Benito Juarez students who will require assistance to renew their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Alderman Solis asked all elected officials to work with their schools and community partners to assure that no DACA student does not apply for lack of funds. Alderman Solis made the announcement at Benito Juarez Tuesday evening, one week after the Trump administration announced their rescission of DACA. DACA provides temporary immigration relief and work authorization. It has benefitted more than 800,000 young people across the country and over 42,000 Illinoisans have deferred action.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Though DACA is ending, those whose status will expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 have until October 5, 2017 renew their work permits. The renewal, which costs $495, will give recipients two more years of employment authorization and protection from deportation. Alderman Solis’s donation is intended to support those students who may otherwise not be able to afford to renew their status. Approximately 250 Benito Juarez students have DACA, of those around 50 are qualified to renew before the October 5th deadline. “Ending DACA is unthinkable,” said Alderman Solis. “We must do everything possible to protect the kids who have benefitted from it. That begins with supporting those who can apply for renewal so they can continue going to school, contributing to their communities and live with dignity and without fear of deportation.”

When I found out that our students only had one month to apply, I knew funds would become an obstacle,” said Benito Juarez Principal Juan Carlos Ocon. “The Alderman’s announcement ensures that every Benito Juarez student who needs to renew can do so, and will be protected from deportation for two more years.” We commend Alderman Solis’s commitment to students with DACA,” said Erendira Rendon, Director of National Partnerships at The Resurrection Project. “Times are tough and our community is hurting. Solis’s leadership offers hope to the students affected at a critical time.”

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