Lawmakers on Thursday announced a new initiative aimed at helping DREAM-eligible immigrants take advantage of President Obama’s executive order that kept many from being deported.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) joined several Hispanic lawmakers in announcing that organizations across the country would be opening their doors to more than one million potential beneficiaries of the order to help with applications.
Gutierrez points anyone potentially eligible for deferment to dreamrelief.org where, in a matter of days, applicants can find and download the appropriate forms to file.
The Illinois Democrat warned any applicant that, at this point, it is not necessary for applicants to seek legal counsel, though that route may be required for some applicants.
“If you see a lawyer and they’re calling you and they’re offering you something and they ask you to write a check? Run away,” Gutierrez said. “Help is coming quickly to you.”
Obama’s order gives those that qualify a permit to work and a pathway to higher education. To qualify they have to have entered the U.S. before turning 16, continuously resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years before the order was issued. They have to be in school, or have graduated from high school, obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States. They can’t be convicted of certain crimes and they can’t be over 30.
Applications for deferred action elligibility will begin being filed and processed on August 15, 60 days after Obama issued the order.