Workshop scheduled for DACA recipients at Point Reyes Library

09/21/2017

Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security began the process of phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an immigration policy that allowed some individuals who entered the country illegally as minors to be eligible for a work permit and to live without the fear of deportation. Nearly 800,000 immigrants participated in the program nationwide, and about a quarter of those live in California. The Canal Alliance, a social service organization in San Rafael, estimates there are between 1,500 and 2,000 DACA recipients in Marin. Though the Department of Homeland Security is no longer accepting new applications, current DACA recipients have until Oct. 5 to renew their status if it is set to expire between Sept. 5 and March 5, 2018. To assist in these renewals, the immigration action committee of West Marin Standing Together is hosting a free workshop at the Point Reyes Station Library on Monday, Sept. 25. Inverness activist Eleanore Despina and Charles Nichol, a Point Reyes Station immigration lawyer, said participants need to bring a photocopy of their Employment Authorization Card, a copy of their last DACA approval notice (Form I-797), a copy of their diploma or proof of enrollment if still in school and a money order in the amount of $495, the renewal fee. But Ms. Despina said that “everyone should come, even if they can’t afford it, because West Marin Community Services is asking people to step forward and fund scholarships.” Mr. Nichol, who has assisted in countless renewals, said it’s a straightforward process. “This is simply a renewal to show they’ve either graduated from high school or college or are taking courses to that end,” he said. The Department of Justice has said it wouldn’t target DACA recipients for deportation, but Mr. Nichol said that hasn’t quelled fears. “They provided information to the government thinking it would be an ongoing program, but now it’s cancelled,” he said. “[The government] has all that personal information; they’ve indicated they’re not going to do [sweeping deportations], but there’s nothing to say that they couldn’t.” The free workshop for renewing DACA membership starts at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 25 at the Point Reyes Station Library. For information, call the library at (415) 663.8375.