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For Immediate Release:
October 18, 2012
Contact: 518-486-9846
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Department of State Coordinates with Bar Associations to Provide Free Legal Clinics for Youth Eligible
for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

The New York Department of State announced today a series of free legal assistance events to benefit immigrant youth eligible for the new federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process. The Department of State’s Bar Association partners are preparing their attorneys to staff DACA legal assistance events using a specialized training video produced with the assistance of New York Law School and the New York Immigration Coalition. The lawyers’ training initiative and the free legal clinics are part of the State’s comprehensive program to ensure that New York’s eligible youth take full advantage of new federal immigration rules without being exploited by scammers.

Estimates of the number of New York youth eligible for DACA range from 40,000 to 80,000, but statistics released on Friday by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services show that less than 6,700 New Yorkers have applied for DACA. Thousands of youth are still seeking guidance and support as they navigate the DACA process.

“New York State is the only state government in the nation with a comprehensive plan to ensure eligible youth in New York can take full advantage of this federal immigration program, while protecting them from fraud,” said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales. “By energizing private attorneys to provide free legal representation, the State is dramatically expanding access to counsel for thousands of young people interested in DACA but unable to afford an attorney.”

“New York’s DACA program represents the legal profession and the New York legal community at its best. Attorneys and Bar Associations from all ethnic stripes coming together for one common purpose – to provide pro bono services to young immigrant adults – Americans in every sense of the word – that ensures that they can emerge from the shadows and realize their dreams of going to college and getting a job.,” said Fernando A. Bohorquez, Jr., Baker Hostetler, Deputy Regional President Hispanic National Bar Association.

“The attorney training materials are designed to both cover the requirements of DACA and the evidentiary requirements as well as to help attorneys identify other forms of immigration relief or derivative citizenship and to be able to handle issue spotting such as the impact of criminal convictions on eligibility,” said Lenni B. Benson, Professor of Law, New York Law School. “By disseminating this video, the State can dramatically expand the pool of attorneys qualified to assist young people with DACA applications on a pro bono basis.”

Upcoming free legal clinics supported by the Department of State include:

Talesca Center for Justice
1 West Main Street, 5th Floor
Rochester, New York
Saturday, October 20th
9:30 am – 1:30 pm

Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building
163 West 125th Street
New York City
Saturday, October 20th
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 pm

A full listing of upcoming lawyer trainings and free legal consultation events are available at Information and referrals also are available through the New York State New Americans Hotline at: 1-800-566-7636.

Bar Associations and community-based organizations participating in this effort include: New York City Bar Association, New York Law School, New York Immigration Coalition, Monroe County Bar Association, New York Youth Leadership Council, Legal Aid Society of Rochester New York, Volunteer Legal Services Project of Monroe County, Bronx YMCA New Americans Welcome Center, African Services Committee, CitizenshipNow!, and the New York City branches of the American Constitution Society, Asian American Bar Association, Dominican Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, Metropolitan Black Bar Association, Nigerian Lawyers Association, and Puerto Rican Bar Association.