NILC Partnering in “Own the Dream / Únete al Sueño”

August 7, 2012

As Deferred Action Becomes DREAMers’ Reality, National Immigration Law Center Joins New Campaign to Help Thousands of Immigrants Who Arrived as Children

WASHINGTON – The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is today partnering with the United We Dream (UWD) Network to launch “Own the Dream/Únete al Sueño,” a national campaign aimed at helping hundreds of thousands of aspiring young Americans brought to this country as children to request “deferred action,” or temporary relief from deportation. The deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) program was announced by President Obama on June 15, 2012, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting deferred action requests on August 15.

Specifically, the Own the Dream campaign will ensure that there is a national and local infrastructure to support DREAMers who are eligible for this opportunity so they can stay in the United States to complete their education and contribute to the economy. NILC will help the campaign by ensuring that accurate information and trusted legal assistance is provided to DREAMers and their families.

At a press conference this morning, NILC DC Director Don Lyster spoke about the Own the Dream campaign’s effort to ensure legal services to as many DREAMers as possible.

“We are proud to join the United We Dream Network and other DREAM activists in launching this critical campaign. NILC, along with our Own the Dream partners at American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), Immigration Advocates Network (IAN), National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG-NIP), and other organizations, are developing a comprehensive strategy, including a centralized website and a toll-free national hotline, to ensure affordable, high-quality legal services for as many DREAMers as possible.”

Beginning August 25, the campaign will host a series of application center events for DREAMers who want to submit a request for deferred action under the new guidelines, with campaign partners providing each applicant on-site legal advice from attorneys and the launch of a website to facilitate the application process.

Other campaign partners include AILA, CLINIC, National Council of La Raza, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, America’s Voice Education Fund, NLG-NIP, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, American Immigration Council, Immigration Advocates Network, PICO Network, Mi Familia Vota,, Farmworker Justice, Service Employees International Union, and AFL-CIO.