DACA Renewal Critical for 4,000+ young immigrants in SC

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SC Appleseed works directly with immigrant communities statewide to combat anti-immigrant initiatives and policies, better integrate communities, and to foster a welcoming environment in South Carolina. Specifically, we are dedicated to helping young immigrants (“Dreamers”) understand the opportunities they have in our communities, empowering Dreamers to get involved in our efforts to better South Carolina, and assisting them with navigating an ever changing immigration system.


Dream Activist by Dream Activist FlickrBrought to the United States as babies and young children, the Dreamers we work with are passionate, hard working, and hopeful for a bright future in the only country they’ve ever really called home. In 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program provided these Dreamers with a temporary legal status and a work permit until a permanent solution is approved by Congress. Today, more than 4,000 young noncitizens in South Carolina  are now driving, working and going to school, because of DACA. And we see them not only benefiting financially, but integrating more fully into and working to improve the communities where they live.


LP-vote Rowan Fairgrove Flickr croppedTwo years after being enacted by President Barack Obama, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been renewed by the Department of Homeland Security for a second round. The program, which thus far has provided relief to 560,000 undocumented immigrants, has been recognized by its ability to shield young immigrants from deportation, granting them a work permit, a social security card, and in some states the ability to pay in-state tuition and obtain a drivers license. Because DACA is a temporary status for two years, the first Dreamers who applied in 2012 must now being the process of DACA renewal, which was launched last week. The renewal process provides the more than 4, 000 young noncitizens in South Carolina who received DACA, with continued protection from deportation, a driver’s license, a social security number, the ability to enroll in colleges and universities, and a work permit. As of March 2014, over 5,000 youth in South Carolina have applied for a DACA status. Last week, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) finally opened the renewal process with the publication of thenew application form and the announcement comes not a moment too soon! Renewal applications will be accepted effective immediately by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


The Dream is Coming to DC by Justin Valas FlickrWe celebrate the ongoing support of the program, but remain frustrated over congress’s failure to create a permanent solution for these young people and for our country.  Until they do, the best option on the table for many young aspiring Americans may be DACA.