LOS ANGELES, CA – MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) today released a first-of-its-kind toolkit designed to help undocumented youth obtain the critical records needed to apply for temporary relief from deportation under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. “DACA has already benefitted hundreds of thousands of young immigrants,” said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel. “This toolkit should assist countless others who are eligible but have not applied, perhaps because of the difficulty in obtaining the necessary evidence and documentary proof of eligibility for discretionary DACA relief.” Under DACA, undocumented youths who were born after 1981, came to the United States before age 16, and remained in the country since 2007, are eligible to receive relief from potential removal, work authorization, and a Social Security card.
The toolkit will help eligible candidates overcome the bureaucratic hurdles and confusion surrounding the requests for records and evidence needed to apply for DACA by providing specific state-by-state resources, including:
- Model letters that applicants can complete, including letters to request records from various institutions and government agencies.
- Model letters that applicants can give to third parties to complete on their behalf, including letters for educational programs verifying their demonstrated effectiveness and an affidavit template.
- A list of types of evidence that applicants and practitioners can submit in support of a DACA application.
Additionally, the toolkit provides instructions for parents seeking to obtain records for a minor, and information on how to obtain census and other governmental records that can help an individual establish continuous presence in the U.S. since 2007.
“Today there remain hundreds of thousands of young Americans who are eligible for DACA, but have yet to apply,” said Andrea Senteno, MALDEF Legislative Staff Attorney. “This toolkit will assist those individuals and provide them with step by step instructions for how to obtain a wide variety of documents to that will help people safely and successfully apply. For those applicants who are unable to afford or find legal assistance, this toolkit will be an invaluable resource that will give them access to the critical opportunities that come from being a DACA recipient. We are incredibly excited about the opportunities this toolkit can provide for thousands of Americans.”
DACA represents one of the Obama administration’s most successful initiatives – both in policy articulation and actual implementation – to address the undocumented, including those in the Latino community.
To access the DACA Record Request Toolkit, please visit: http://www.maldef.org/assets/pdf/DACA_Toolkit.pdf