Date: March 2, 2016
GSB Press Release
|In 2012, the U.S. executive branch implemented its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, enabling undocumented immigrants brought here as children to obtain renewable two-year work permits and temporary relief from deportation. Many of the youths eligible for DACA arrived here at such an early age that they have no memories of, or support systems in, their countries of origin. The DACA program does not provide these young adults with a path to permanent residence, but rather allows them to contribute to the workforce while avoiding removal to countries where they lack a history or a home. The relief provided by DACA can be life-changing -- it has provided many vulnerable young people with a means of supporting their families and pursuing higher education opportunities.||
|In partnership with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (“NWIRP”), GSB has committed to providing free legal services to candidates submitting or renewing DACA applications through a series of in-house “clinics” in the firm’s Seattle office. The first of these clinics took place on November 3, 2015. Over the course of an evening, more than 20 GSB volunteers -- attorneys and staff -- ushered 12 youths through the DACA process, performing on-site document translation and legal research to complete intake and processing of all 12 applications.|
|On March 29, 2016, GSB hopes to build on the success of this pilot project with a second clinic that incorporates assistance from other offices to support on-site volunteers in Seattle. GSB will repeat these clinics on a quarterly basis, pulling together resources from all five of its U.S. offices to assist an even greater number of applicants. As the firm marks its 50th anniversary and looks onward to new horizons, we are proud to invest in the futures of these young adults by creating opportunities and providing essential relief.
Jorge and Mireya’s story
|“Even though I’ve been working as an immigration paralegal for the last 18 years here at GSB, the most rewarding cases that I work on are those involving people who truly need help. DACA provides certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children a chance to feel safe and grants them legal employment authorization. The DACA clinic that we held last year was one of those rewarding and heartwarming experiences where you provide that help to someone who is trying to do the right thing.” -- Verna Seal, GSB Immigration Paralegal|