CHICAGO, March 16, 2015: Morgan Lewis and the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) will join forces to help young immigrants file for temporary relief from deportation and federal work permits during a co-hosted DREAMers Clinic in Chicago on Tuesday, March 17. This is the first immigration clinic held by the firm since President Barack Obama announced the expansion of a deferred action program last fall.
The clinic is the third held by Morgan Lewis and NIJC since 2012, when President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and will once again pair the firm’s pro bono lawyers with immigrants under the age of 30 seeking two-year deferrals and employment authorization documents from the US government. Morgan Lewis was the first law firm in Chicago to host a clinic when the DACA program was announced in 2012.
In November 2014, the President expanded the DACA program and created the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program, building on the original DACA program which enables select undocumented immigrants who entered the country before the age of 16, and prior to June 2007, to qualify for a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. The expanded DACA program applies to undocumented immigrants who entered the country before 2010, allows for applicants older than the age of 31, and extends the renewable deferral period from two to three years. The DAPA program would make deferred action accessible to parents of US citizens and lawful permanent residents. The implementation of both the DAPA program and DACA expansion have been delayed by a lawsuit filed by states that oppose the programs, but individuals may still apply for relief under the 2012 DACA guidelines.
“Morgan Lewis maintains a strong commitment to pro bono service, especially in its various communities,” said Thomas Hurka, Morgan Lewis partner and NIJC board member. “Participating in the DREAMers clinic gives our Chicago lawyers an opportunity to help the area’s young immigrants navigate a program critical to their futures and take advantage of its benefits.”
Through our national Pro Bono Immigration Practice, Morgan Lewis serves individuals fleeing persecution overseas, undocumented and unaccompanied minors who came to the United States when they were young, and immigrant women whose immigration status is dependent on an abusive spouse. To help these clients obtain legal immigration status, and enjoy the promises the U.S. offers, is one of our greatest professional privileges.The clinic will be held from 9 am to 1 pm at the firm’s Chicago office.