St. Mary's And Univision Offering Free Legal Help For DACA Applicants This week
Texas DACA day is coming up this week, and local organizations are offering events as part of a statewide effort to help DACA-eligible youth and families sign up for the program.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order in 2012 allows young people without documentation to continue to live in the U.S. while they go to school, graduate college, and go on to work.
Adriane Meneses with St. Mary’s School of Law said young people continue to come to her office to get help with the application process.
"There have been applicants that come in and told us, 'I only found out last week that I was here undocumented or I was here on an expired VISA or that I wasn't born here in the United States,' " she said.
There is confusion about DACA itself; only individuals who were in residence in the U.S. before June 15, 2007 are eligible, and of those people, only those born after June 15, 1981.
Attorney Alex Garza with RAICES Texas said the DACA program allows young graduates to apply for a social security number and a driver's license and to work legally after college graduation.
Meneses said DACA, in some cases, encourages higher education.
"We've had a lot of young folks that had finished high school but never had gone on to higher education who've come in to apply for DACA and said now that they have the opportunity to apply for DACA and work legally, that's encouraging them to go back to school and get their degree; whereas in the past, they wouldn't have been able to and so there was no motivation to pursue a higher education," Meneses said.
Univision is participating by running a phone bank for info Tuesday evening. This Saturday, St. Mary’s University and RAICES will offer free DACA screening at two locations: at St. Mary’s and at Las Palmas Branch Library.
The number to call for the Univision-TV San Antonio phone bank tonight will be broadcast on air from 5 -8 p.m.
Saturday, August 16:
- DACA RAICES Workshop: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Las Palmas Branch Library, 515 Castroville Road, San Antonio 78237.
- DACA Screenings and Appointments: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. St. Mary's University School of Law Center for Legal and Social Justice, 2507 NW 36th St., San Antonio 78228.