Today, U.S. Representatives Grace F. Napolitano (CA-38) and Judy Chu (CA-32) will hold a community forum in conjunction with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and the City of El Monte in response to the recent start of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service's application process for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The forum will inform potential applications of the necessary qualifications and procedures for deferred action, and allow applicants to speak with community groups, attorneys, and a representative from the Department of Homeland Security about their individual cases. Representatives Napolitano and Chu released the following statements:
Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano (CA-38): "This first step in assisting those who have worked tirelessly in helping our economy grow has been a long time coming. We're educating these youngsters who have known no other country and came here through no fault of their own. It is their love of the U.S. that keeps them here. I applaud President Obama for taking this step and allowing our young Dreamers to have a productive place in society. Congressional Hispanic Caucus members and I will continue to press the President for broader, comprehensive immigration reform to ensure that we bring hundreds of thousands more people out of the shadows."
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32): "Today, we are helping fulfill the pledge made by President Obama in June. No longer will we deport DREAM students, who were brought to the United States without documents by their parents. Instead, they will be able to stay in the only country they know and love, go to school, get a job and participate in this great nation!"
"Sadly, some unscrupulous brokers and notarios have already been taking advantage of these youths, asking them to pay application fees even before the applications had been released! We are here to warn DREAM-eligible students to be wary of scammers. Today's event will help students and families by answering questions about the program and link them up with professional agencies, like CHIRLA to help as they apply. I pledge to make my office available to answer questions and link DREAMers with the help they need."
On June 15, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that DREAM students -- students who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria -- will be considered for relief from the threat of deportation.
The guidelines and application process for the Obama Administration's deferred action policy were unveiled August 15, 2012 and upon approval, applicants would have deportation proceedings against them deferred, and be able to apply for a work permit, good up to two years.