Free legal assistance available to renew DACA status

The Volunteer Lawyers Network is holding three upcoming sessions to provide free legal assistance to people who need to renew their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.

The Trump administration recently called for the end of the DACA program on March 5, 2018. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security established DACA under the Obama administration in 2012, which allows undocumented youth who came to the country as children to apply for temporary permission to stay in the U.S.

People with a DACA status that expires between Sept. 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 must file a renewal with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by Oct. 5, 2017.

The Minneapolis-based Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN) will offer free help for DACA renewals on Sept. 14, 21 and 28. The sessions will be held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Park Avenue United Methodist Church, 3400 Park Ave. S. To see if you qualify for VLN service and an appointment, call 612-752-6677 Monday, Wednesday or Thursday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The City of Minneapolis has provided funding to VLN and other legal advocates to work directly with residents involved with immigration proceedings. The City was also the first in the country to declare support for DACA in 2012.

The City is also hosting two community events next week as part Welcoming Week to show support for Minneapolis’ immigrant communities. Welcoming Week is a nationwide initiative designed to bring together immigrants, refugees and native-born residents. Events will be held 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19 at the Brian Coyle Center, 420 15th Ave. S., and 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21 at Powderhorn Park, 3400 15th Ave. S. For more information about Welcoming Week, go to minneapolismn.gov/WeAreMpls.