In a telephonic press conference last week, leaders of the United We Dream Network (UWD), the largest network of immigrant-youth led organizations in the country, explained the next steps in their massive campaign to educate their communities about the process, the guidelines and documents needed to apply for “deferred action.”
Cristina Jiménez, Managing Director, United We Dream said, “We aim to inform 500,000 people on the educational and official requirements for DREAMer relief over the next 5 months. So far we have reached over 80,000 people and continue to work hard to reach our goal. Today we are announcing a partnership with the Embassy of Mexico and their 50 Mexican Consulate offices to provide DREAMers with the current documents they may need to apply for deferred actions. We are also taking to the airwaves releasing our firstPublic Service Announcements to offer a warning to avoid fraud and provide more information.”
On Monday July 23rd the Mexican Embassy and the United We Dream Network will be hosting a National DREAMer Day at the 50 Mexican consular offices to offer consular services and information about DREAMer relief.
“National DREAMer Day is a crucial partnership that will allow us to stretch open the doors of our 50 Consulates even wider for Mexican youth, so that those who are eligible can benefit from deferred action” said Juan Carlos Lara, Head of Regional and Latino Affairs at the Embassy of Mexico in the U.S. “We will work side by side with the United We Dream network and other organizations across the country, to facilitate access to efficient and timely consular services for Mexican DREAMers.“
In addition to educating the community about the policy and documents needed, UWD is also producing materials and public service announcements to warn the community of potential notario and other types of fraudulent immigration advisors who may try to take advantage of young people pursuing deferred action.
Ivan Rosales, DREAMer featured in the new PSAs and founder of Students for Equal Access to Education in California, added “To this day, I still meet young people that are unaware of things like in-state tuition bills, or even that there is a national push for the DREAM Act and other forms of legalization. The education component of our campaign is critical and the PSA is just one of several tools we’ll be using to reach our goal of half a million DREAMers by the end of the summer. Obama’s announcement was a huge victory for the immigrant community and it’s our job now to educate DREAMers who live in communities where there’s not a lot of support.”
Laura Lichter, president, American Immigration Lawyers Association cautioned, “At this point in time, all we have are the basic details: DHS has said they’ll have more information on August 1st and that they’ll be ready to receive applications on August 15th. However, we want to make it very clear that a formal process has not been announced yet. Even though qualifying for the program may seem simple, immigration law is notoriously complex. Therefore, we think it’s essential that before submitting an application, DREAMers make sure that they are not only eligible to apply, but that this is also a safe and smart decision. We’ve got a very sophisticated audience here, we’re talking about educated kids, but only with incredible community support can we truly to leverage our expertise.”
Cristina Jimenez also said, “For years, young people in immigrant communities and campuses have led a campaign of self determination for us and our families. With political strength we achieved what many leaders told us couldn’t be done: won temporary relief for 1.4 million DREAMers – the most significant victory in the immigrant rights movement in 25 years. Now, undocumented youth are leading the campaign to ensure that our communities have the information they need to participate in this process and avoid scam artists who might try to take advantage of them.”
For a copy of the recording click here
For a copy of the PSA’s click here