This past fall, Immigrant Rights clinician Inna Vernikov filed the clinic’s very first application under the Obama administration’s new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program. The application was filed on behalf of a local 15 years old high school student who had been in the United States since she was 2 years old.
This new immigration benefit allows certain young undocumented individuals who entered the United States as children, who are in school, have a high school Diploma (or GED) or served in the US armed forces to remain in the United States for a period of two years (subject to renewal). Applicants for this benefit also cannot have a significant criminal history. Most individuals who are approved for DACA will also be authorized to work in the US during the authorized period.
Inna worked dilligently on this case in the fall semester. Her hard work was remarkable. This case involved a new form of relief that required extensive research and creativity. It involved figuring out what types of evidence and documents would demonstrate that the client had in fact been in the US continuously for all these years (an onerous task) and also that the client met other DACA requirements. The student’s dedication to the client’s case is very commendable.