Beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals can now renew their permit in line as of April 12, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This comes as CSUN began announcing a grant that will cover the $495 application and renewal fee due every two years.
Previously, DACA renewals had to be sent directly to USCIS, making the process susceptible to delays. These delays may temporarily deprive recipients of their protections and work authorizations. Immigrants living in the country without legal permission applying for DACA for the first time still cannot apply online.
CSUN’s Dreamers, Resources, Empowerment, Advocacy and Mentorship Center, a place that provides resources such as free legal services to students without legal status, received a donation of $150,000 from the nonprofit The Change Reaction last November, which was used to create the DACA Assistance Grant. The grant is used to cover the fees required to apply for and renew DACA permits for students.
There are about 2,000 non-status immigrants enrolled at CSUN, and about 700 of those students could be eligible for DACA, according to Daniela Barcenas, director of the DREAM Center.
DACA, a program that was enacted during the administration of former President Barack Obama, grants temporary protection from deportation to eligible immigrants who were brought to America as children, while allowing them to access a work permit.
According to Department of Homeland Securityto be eligible for DACA, the individual must be under age 31 as of June 15, 2012, come to the United States under age 16, and be currently enrolled in school, have completed high school, obtained a GED certificate or been honorably discharged from the military.
“[DACA] certainly makes it easier for some undocumented people to navigate around the world. Having access to employment and other resources that require a social security number, but doesn’t exactly solve their immigration issues,” Barcenas said.
CSUN students can apply for the DACA Assistance Scholarship in line through the university’s Financial Aid and Scholarships Department. Applicants are asked to provide proof that they have met or will meet with an attorney for their DACA application.
Students who have used the services of Associate Student Legal Support Clinic or the Los Angeles Central American Resource Center are also eligible for the grant. This process involves a representative of the DREAM Center confirming with these organizations that the student has been assisted by them.
The scholarship is also available for students who have already paid their application fee or to renew their permit. They can get a refund by providing the DREAM Center with a bank statement proving that they have paid their renewal fees out of pocket.
“It’s huge, put it in perspective, it’s $495,” Barcenas said. “If you’re a student working part-time on campus, you can’t work more than 20 hours a week, that would be like a full paycheck…and that’s assuming you’re able to spend your whole check on it. pay.”