Workshops focus on assisting youth with Deferred Action/Childhood Arrivals

from Michigan Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

The Obama Administration recently announced the implementation of the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program for young, undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. prior to the age of 16.  This program allows eligible immigrants aged 15-30 to receive temporary relief from deportation and employment authorization for a two-year period.  DACA opened on August 15, 2012 and nonprofit member agencies of the Michigan Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (MCIRR) are holding application workshops at which pro bono attorneys will assist low-income, pre-screened clients to confirm eligibility and complete the necessary applications in the months to come.

The Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) is assisting MCIRR in seeking attorneys to volunteer at one or more workshops.  MIRC is a resource center for advocates seeking equal justice for Michigan’s immigrants. MIRC works to build a thriving Michigan where immigrant communities are fully integrated and respected.

Attorneys need no prior immigration experience.  Training will be available via webinar prior to August 30 and on-site before each workshop.  In addition, experienced immigration attorneys will be on-site mentors at each workshop.

The pro bono commitment consists of the 5-6 hour workshop and the attorney will assist about 4 clients. The commitment does not extend beyond the day of the workshop.  For attorneys who do not currently have malpractice insurance that covers pro bono activities, free coverage is available through the State Bar of Michigan.
MCIRR asks attorneys to join them in helping Michigan’s immigrant youth. Contact the local organizer below for the workshop at which you can volunteer.

There will be a workshop in Grand Rapids Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. hosted by Migrant Legal Aid. The contact is Eduardo Reyes, 616-454-5055, ereyes@mmlap.com. Another is scheduled in Kalamazoo Nov. 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The host organization is Immigration Assistance Program, Diocese of Kalamazoo, and the contact is Maura Hagen, 269-903-0135, mhagen@dioceseofkalamazoo.org.

There is also a workshop planned in Ann Arbor on Nov.17, and one on Dec. 1 in Oakland County. For contact information, visit http://www.michiganimmigrant.org/Members/sreed/probono