Paula Forero leads IRC in NY's immigration department, and in the past has led IRC's national immigration work. She has worked with countless clients on their own DACA applications, and reflects on the recent Supreme Court's decision below.
On June 15th, 2020, DACA celebrated 8 years. It was a monumental step by the Obama Administration to ask young people to come out of the shadows and provide their identifying information in return for employment authorization and protection from deportation. Nevertheless, the program became a success because 700,000 individuals are currently DACA recipients. At the time, I was the National Director of Immigration at the IRC overseeing immigration programming in 20+ offices around the country. We understood the importance of this program and decided to train our staff of 35+ DOJ accredited representatives so that they could start providing services as soon as the program became active, August 15, 2012. It was a quick turnaround, but in the span of 60 days we created a DACA toolkit with the resources and materials so our offices could assist DREAMers who wanted to apply for DACA.
In the years since, the IRC continues to work with DREAMers by renewing their DACA status and screening to see if they qualify for permanent residence. Today, I work as the Immigration Supervisor of the IRC in New York and provide direct services to immigrants in New York City. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision of June 18thensures the DACA program will continue and that we can continue working with this population of DREAMers who are intertwined within the fabric of our country as entrepreneurs, social justice advocates, fashion bloggers, lawyers, scientists, educators, health professionals, and our neighbors. We hope that a permanent solution can be found that provides them with permanent residence and puts them on a path to U.S. citizenship.
To support Paula's exceptional immigration work with the immigration team, please email VolunteerNY [at] rescue.org (subject: Immigration%20Volunteer%20Opportunities) or donate here.