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On this year's 9th Anniversary of the DACA program, we featured an interview with one of our clients. He was granted DACA in 2012, the program's first year, and now he's on a fast track to citizenship. We've accompanied him in his journey, and we're honored to have done so - we're so proud of him.
But the DACA program urgently needs a revamp, and what better than starting the year of its 10th anniversary by bringing it up to date, heeding lessons learned along the way?
Let's take a moment to pitch in our two cents, in this final week of public comments to the DACA proposed rule issued by the US Department of Homeland Security. Last day to comment is November 29, 2021. Commenting is simple, can be done in any language, and by anybody living in this country.
Here are some pointers on what to comment on, based on our own experience assisting immigrant youth with this program:
1. Update DATES. Every year, less and less people qualify for DACA because they came to this country after June 15, 2007, for example. What if we advanced the clock 10 years? Then a whole new generation of youth would qualify and take advantage of this great program.
2. AVOID coverage interruptions caused by USCIS processing delays. Every 2 years, DACA recipients go through the harrowing process of renewals. If the renewal is not processed in a timely fashion, they may be at risk of losing their jobs, because their work permits would expire. This issue has a simple solution: add DACA recipients to the list of immigrants whose work permits are automatically extended 180 days if they file for renewal before their current work permit expires.
3. If the new rule decouples the DACA protection from work permits, then at least issue Social Security numbers and Federal IDs to people requesting DACA only. Those 2 items are very important for many activities beyond work, and not having them becomes a hindrance.
Here is a list of helpful sites that make commenting simple and suggest a broader set of topics for comments:
National Immigrant Justice Center
United We Dream & Home is Here

The US Government comment site is here
 
What better way to give thanks than to give? Giving Tuesday is a worldwide event where people donate or pledge to volunteer at charitable organizations.
You can donate through our web page: https://www.odisinc.org/donate
You can also sign up to volunteer with us at  https://www.odisinc.org/volunteer
Our organization is tiny, and every dollar you donate goes directly to support our low bono and pro bono immigration legal services. Every hour you volunteer you will be directly helping a neighbor in their journey through our legal immigration system, and you will have the opportunity to accompany them through this often complicated process.
Join us! And thank you for supporting our mission.
 
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Butterfly artwork by Blanca Tovar, DACA recipient

 






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Opening Doors International Services, Inc. · 2200 N Bell Ave · Denton, TX 76209-2013 · USA

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