Free clinics for DACA renewal
Sonoma County Counsel, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, and the Sonoma County Office of Education have teamed up to offer free clinics for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients who need help renewing their application. Immigration lawyers will provide assistance with the application and answer questions. Participants can also receive information about financial aid towards the cost of the $495 renewal fee.
The clinics come in response to the Trump Administration’s recent announcement that it will phase out the DACA program over the next six months. The decision has incited fear and uncertainty throughout the county's immigrant community, including thousands of students.
DACA is a federal program designed to protect young, undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation, and to provide them with authorization to work in the United States. The program issues employment authorization to eligible applicants, subject to termination or renewal every two years. To be eligible for DACA, an individual must have been brought to this country as a minor, must demonstrate lawful conduct, and must have continued to pursue an education. There are approximately 6,000 DACA-eligible youths who reside in Sonoma County, many of them school-aged. While all children are guaranteed a public education regardless of immigration status, the anxiety and uncertainty caused by the decision is likely to impact the ability of many affected students to focus and thrive in school.
Under the new policy announced by the Department of Homeland Security, current DACA recipients whose authorization expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 must submit their renewals by October 5th.
"DACA recipients call the United States home. They play an important role in the economic and cultural vitality of our community and we want to support them and make sure they feel welcome," said Steven D. Herrington, Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools. "Through this joint effort, we aim to provide legal support and advice and ease the fear and anxiety many of these youths are unfortunately experiencing."
Wednesday, September 20, 6-7:30pm
Lucchesi Community Center
320 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma
Hosted by Supervisor David Rabbitt
Saturday, September 23, 1-4:00pm
Cook Middle School
2480 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa
Hosted by County Superintendent Steven Herrington
Thursday, September 28, 6-7:30pm
Kawana Springs Elementary
2121 Moraga Dr., Santa Rosa
Hosted by Supervisor Shirlee Zane
Additional informational meetings regarding DACA will be announced shortly.
For more information, please visit http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/CAO/Immigration-Initiative/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.