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DREAMrelief.org- We are Extremely Sorry- Where to Get Help With Applications

DREAMrelief.org- We are Extremely Sorry- Where to Get Help With Applications

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Those of you who attended Navy Pier were part of history.

While 300 people showed up in Boston and 1500 in Los Angeles, there were more than 14,000 people who joined us at Navy Pier in Chicago. As promised, we were able to provide one-on-one legal help to 1500 people, as well as an additional informational workshop to approximately 7,500 more people.  That wasn’t enough.

Thousands of people did not receive the help that they needed, and we feel terrible for those of you who sacrificed your time, energy, and money and got little or nothing in return.  You missed school, you missed work, and you traveled many miles and many hours.  It is awful that your time was wasted, and we are deeply sorry to all of you who had a frustrating, disorganized, failed experience.  There are a hundred things we should have done better, and we want to begin to make it better.

Here are some ways that you can start to get the help you need:

Option 1: Begin the application process on-line.  ICIRR has worked with our partner NIJC (the National Immigrant Justice Center) to create a free on-line tool where you can check your eligibility and learn more about how to assemble your application.  Visit dreamerjustice.org now to use this tool to get started.

Get two passport-style photos to send with your application–you will need these for your work permit
Make a copy of your application packet for your records, and send the application at the post office by certified mail.

Option 2: Register for a GROUP HELP SESSION with an attorney.

We will be hosting more than 50 of these GROUP HELP SESSIONS with attorneys over the coming weeks and months.  These will be free of charge and they will be by registration only, so that you do not have to deal with long lines.  In these sessions, you will go through the application point by point, learn about eligibility, and be able to ask questions of an attorney.  These will be an important FIRST STEP, but these sessions will NOT include one-on-one help with an attorney who can review your documents.  We have already begun scheduling these sessions for August 23rd, September 4th, and September 8th.

Early next week, we will finalize the registration process for these and other help sessions, and we will e-mail you to let you know that you can register.  Also, if you are with an organization that would like to organize one of these GROUP HELP SESSIONS, please contact Carrie Fox at cfox@icirr.org.

Option 3: Schedule an appointment with an immigration attorney or authorized non-profit organization.  If you have had any encounters with police or the justice system, or with immigration authorities, or if you have traveled outside the US in the last five years, you should definitely consult with an immigration lawyer or BIA-recognized non-profit agency before you file.  Even if you do not fall into these categories, we still encourage you consult with an attorney or agency to review your case.  Please note that many of these appointments will cost money (from $50 to a few hundred dollars).

You can request an appointment with NIJC to review cases and documents by sending an e-mail immigrantlegaldefense@heartlandalliance.org; NIJC will charge a $50 consultation fee.  Note that demand for these services is high.
Finally, we ask you to stay informed and involved.  The application has only been out for a few days and we are constantly working with USCIS and national partners to offer new and better ways of serving you.  Updates will be made to dreamrelief.org as they happen, and we will e-mail you when there are more updates.

We are also going to need hundreds, if not thousands, of new people like you to help with this process, spread good information, and continue to fight until we win the full DREAM Act, driver’s licenses, relief for parents, and eventually . Visit www.dreamrelief.org to register to volunteer.

Thank you for your patience, for your courage, and for your commitment to the immigrant community.  If you would like to play a leadership role in this campaign to serve DREAMers and organize our communities, please contact Rudy Lozano at rlozano@icirr.org to get connected to this important work.