A community clinic for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will be held Sept. 30 at Centro Hispano of Dane County, 810 W. Badger Road. As of last week Centro is officially accredited to take on immigration cases at very low cost.

“We’re very excited to be offering these services at Centro and have a Board of Immigration (BIA) certified representative that will be able to answer questions,” said Centro of Hispano Board of Directors President Sujhey Beisser.

On June 15, 2012, President Obama created a new policy calling for deferred action for certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children. Deferred action is a discretionary, limited immigration benefit by DHS. Deferred action is a kind of administrative relief from deportation that has been around a long time. Through it, DHS authorizes a non–U.S. citizen to remain in the U.S. temporarily. The person may also apply for an employment authorization document (a “work permit”) for the period during which he or she has deferred action.

“A lot of our community is very young. Demographics show that we have a big group ages 18-24,” said Centro Hispano Executive Director Karen Menendez Coller. “We believe that DACA should continue to be expanded so that our youth have opportunities to grow and contribute to this workforce.

“We at Centro also support moving forward with DAPA [Deferred Action for Parents of Americans] so that families are not torn apart,” she added.

Deferred action can be granted to individuals who are in removal proceedings, who have final orders of removal, or who have never been in removal proceedings. Individuals who have deferred action status can apply for employment authorization and are in the U.S. under color of law. However, there is no direct path from deferred action to lawful permanent residence or to citizenship.

At the community clinic, local attorney Mateo Gillhouse will be the facilitator along with BIA Accredited Representative Jacqueline Suarez of Centro Hispano. Childcare and food will be provided. The session is open to all community members. Space is limited.

The DACA Community Clinic is a product of a unique collaboration between Centro Hispano, Jewish Social Services, Catholic Multicultural Center, RISE Law Center and Joining Forces for Families. It is made possible by funding through the City Council and the City of Madison.

For more information, contact Lourdes Godinez, (608) 442-4013