UMass Law Immigration Clinic students help Southcoast residents get Obama Administration’s new immigration relief
August 21, 2012
UMass Law Immigration Clinic students helped South Coast residents benefit from the Obama administration’s new program to stop deporting DREAM Act-eligible youth. The new immigration initiative provides relief from deportation and work authorization to young undocumented residents who came to the U.S. under the age of sixteen, are law abiding, and are either students or high school graduates.
Immigration clinic founder and director, Prof. Irene Scharf, accompanied UMass Law students, Sheyla Carew, Sebastian Harley, Jorge Morales, Alyssa Warren, and Stephen Brown to St. James Church in the South End of New Bedford on the evening of August 21 to assist area residents applying for the new immigration relief.
The event was organized by the Catholic Social Services of Fall River. UMass Law students worked in conjunction with Catholic Social Services staff to interview and counsel a large group of residents who attended the event. Many attendees filled out applications for the immigration relief with the assistance of UMass Law students and Catholic Social Services representatives. Given the large turnout and the number of residents who appeared eligible for the new immigration program, the event was undoubtedly a great success.
One UMass Law student who volunteered at the event commented: “it was a fantastic experience. It is one thing to study the law from textbooks and hear about these immigration issues in the news, but it is something indescribable to look into these teenagers' eyes and listen to them describe the adversity they face, due to no fault of their own, simply because they were brought here when they were children.”
UMass Immigration Clinic students will join Catholic Social Services representatives again at St. James church at 7:00 pm on September 13th to follow up with community members assisted in the first event, and to offer assistance to additional residents interested in applying for the Obama Administration’s new work authorization and deportation relief program.