Orange City and Sioux Center, Iowa — People who have come to the United States as children of illegal aliens are being given a chance to get a temporary two-year work visa and a promise that they won’t be deported for two years if they register and pay a fee. It’s called Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals or “DACA”.
The Center for Assistance, Service, and Advocacy of Sioux County — or “CASA” — Northwestern College and Iowa Justice For our Neighbors — or “JFON” — are co-sponsoring a low-cost a DACA Legal Clinic to assist with applications on Saturday, December 1st.
Kim Westerholm, a volunteer with CASA, stresses that DACA does not grant citizenship to illegal aliens.
The immigrants applying for DACA status must be between 16-30 years of age, and they have to have been in the United States for the last 5 years. She says that people that can apply have to be working on their education, graduated from college, serving in the military, or have served in the military. The idea is that the DACA status will provide the immigrants an opportunity to get a temporary two-year work visa.
However, after two years, Westerholm says no one’s quite sure what the next step will be.
Westerholm says some immigrants are understandably wary about the DACA program. But she says there are stringent qualifications that have to be met even to apply.
She stresses that Northwestern College Social Work students are doing most of the work of the program.
Westerholm says the federal government does impose a $465 fee for application, but the legal counsel on December 1st is free. A freewill donation of $65 is suggested, however.
The legal clinic is from 10 AM to 4 PM, December 1st, at Christ the King Catholic Church in Sioux Center.