Today, Representative Yvette D. Clarke hosted a one-day legal clinic in conjunction with the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) to assist eligible youth, ready to apply for benefits under deferred action for childhood arrivals, such as employment authorization and relief from removal or removal proceedings.
"Deferred Action represents the start of a process. We have a lot of work ahead of us if we're going to offer these young scholars equal access to the American Dream," said Representative Clarke. "Congress must enact comprehensive immigration reform, because every community depends upon it."
More than 60 women and men were screened on-site by attorneys from NYIC in addition to Brooklyn Defender Services, CAMBA, the Caribbean Women's Health Association, and the New York Legal Assistance Group.
"We are happy to work with Congresswoman Clarke to help as many DREAMers as possible take advantage of this opportunity," said Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition."We look forward to working with Congress to pass legislation that provides a path to citizenship for DREAMers and their families."
An estimated 1.7 million young, undocumented immigrants could apply for deferred action and employment authorization under the policy, which was announced on June 15 by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
The clinic was held following a public forum held on the evening of Aug. 20 in the Founders Auditorium of Medgar Evers College. The panel included Andrea J. Quarantillo, New York District Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Jacob A. Antoninis, Assistant Field Office Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Allegra Chapman, the Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Bureau at the Office of the New York Attorney General and Matilde L. Roman, Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel to the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs.