DREAM Relief Day Announcement

July 31, 2012

ICIRR AND CONGRESSMAN LUIS GUTIERREZ ANNOUNCE HISTORICAL DREAM RELIEF DAY AND WEB SITE TO ASSIST UNDOCUMENTED YOUTH IN APPLICATION PROCESS

Chicago, Illinois -- Congressman Luis Gutierrez joined the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) to announce DREAM Relief Day on August 15 at Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom from 9 am to 2 pm and to unveil the website DreamRelief.org, where undocumented youth will be able to apply for their work permits starting August 15.

On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced that it would offer many DREAM Act-eligible youth temporary relief through “deferred action.” The memorandum offers hope to many eligible young adults by providing the opportunity to live and work in the US lawfully. The State of Illinois is home to over 75,000 DREAM Act-eligible youth.

“August 15 marks the beginning of a new life for many undocumented youth,” said Lawrence Benito, ICIRR’s Chief Executive Officer. We encourage every undocumented youth who fits the criteria to take advantage of this great opportunity to come out of the shadows by applying for deferred action,” he added. 

The historic DREAM Relief Day will be the first opportunity for undocumented students to apply for the President's "deferred action" initiative, allowing them to be free from deportation and eligible for work permits, driver's licenses, and other basic protections.   

DreamRelief.org is designed to provide undocumented youth with current updates, resources, and information about upcoming events. People can also call ICIRR’s family support hotline at 1-855-HELP-MY-FAMILY for information. 

Requirements

Youths must meet five criteria to qualify for deferred action:

Ø  They must have come to the US before they turned 16;

Ø  They must have been born after June 15, 1981;

Ø  They must have continuously resided in the US since June 15, 2007, and must have been present in the US on June 15, 2012;

Ø  They must currently be in school, have received a high school diploma or GED, or been honorably discharged from the US Armed Forces or the Coast Guard;

Ø  They must not have been convicted of a felony, a “significant misdemeanor,” multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.  Anyone applying for deferred action would need to go through a criminal background check.

Congressman Luis Gutierrez provided an update on the application process that will be issued by USCIS on August 1st.  This is the most important development in two decades for undocumented immigrants and we intend to get as many young people as are eligible signed up and in the system,” said Rep. Luis Gutierrez.   “We are organizing the community and working with partners across the country to make it happen.”  “I hope young people will come forward and check with us before paying huge fees to lawyers and others, because we are going to make this policy work and it will serve as a model for the broader immigration reform we need in the future.”

“We fought for and won this by acting without fear and we will not be afraid to claim our freedom at this point, said Jose Alejandro, undocumented youth.

ICIRR encourages youths to visit www.dreamrelief.org for information about upcoming information sessions, workshops, and webinars and other updates on “deferred action.”