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President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program celebrates two year anniversary

Catholic Charities helped more than 160 youth apply for program

It's been two years since President Barack Obama created a program for young immigrants who came to United States illegally when they were children. 


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals allows them to work, go to school, and drive without the risk of being deported.

Locally, Catholic Charities of Shreveport, has helped more than 160 people fill out the application.

It  must be renewed every two years.

 

"Young people now have to reapply 120 days prior to the date they were given their DACA. They have to reapply for it. So that's important because you don’t want to miss your deadline,” said Jean Dresley, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Shreveport.

People requesting consideration for Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals must:

1.Be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;

2.Came to the United States before reaching 16th birthday;

3.Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;

4.Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;

5.Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;

6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and

7.Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Catholic Charities charges around $750 for the service. Its executive director said that's nearly a fifth of what immigration lawyers charge.

Catholic Charities also offers several classes, including English as a second language, financial education, parenting, and healthy eating. The next Healthy Eating on Budget class is June 19 at 11 a.m. The next financial education class is June 25, at 1:30 p.m.

 

Catholic Charities offers bilingual help to people applying for government assistance, and gives money to those in need of help with their rent or utility bills.

 

The center will change its name to Catholic Charities of North Louisiana in July, and open an office in Monroe, LA this summer.

 

DACA: http://www.dhs.gov/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals

Catholic Charities: http://ccshpt.org/

 

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