Dreamers fight back with advocacy support group efforts

DACA protestors in New York on September 9, 2017. Credit: Creative Commons

Several advocacy groups in D.C. and the surrounding areas are assisting undocumented immigrants with the renewal of their work permits and legal status, under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA.

The Trump administration announced plans to end DACA Sept. 5.

President Trump has given Congress six months to decide the fate of more than 800,000 undocumented immigrants.

According to the U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services, DACA recipients are given two years to retain their status and their work permits. USCIS process individual applications based on a case by case assessment.

Individuals whose DACA status expires between now and March 5, 2018, have until Oct. 5 to renew their status by submitting renewal paperwork. After Oct. 5, USCIS will not process any additional renewals.

Legal Aid Justice Center provides support to individuals and communities who seek legal aid, promote justice and equal opportunities for immigrants.  

The center offers a variety of services, including individual representation, group and class litigation, community strategizing, policy advocacy and media relations.

Its staff provides educational tools for Virginia immigrants to understand their rights protected under the law and how to legally protect themselves. The center hosts clinics around the area, where volunteer attorneys provide free services, for individuals who are in need of assistance with their DACA renewal or their DACA eligibility.

Sophia Gregg, an attorney at the Legal Aid Justice Center office in Falls Church, says people who need DACA renewal guidance should come to the legal clinics.

“We can do a comprehensive screening to assist anyone who might need it.”

“If anybody thinks that they might be eligible or want to know more about DACA, want please come to our clinic next Saturday because the clock is ticking.”

“For those who think they are not eligible, there will be immigration attorneys. We can do a comprehensive screening to assist anyone who might need it,” said Gregg.

Legal Aid is hosting a clinic on Friday September 29th in Charlottesville, Virginia from 9 am to 4 pm at the Legal Aid Justice Center. The attorneys will be filing a G28, a legal form that displays attorneys on the record for their applicants in case a problem arises with their application and be fully represented in which their case is not rejected.

There is an additional legal clinic that is held on Saturday September 30th at the Walter Reed Community Center and the University of Richmond.

The Immigration Advocacy program, run by the Justice Center, offers free legal assistance to low-income immigrants experiencing hardships in the areas of employment, immigration and housing, with the goal being to stop mass detention and deportation of thousands of people.

The organization offers representation for immigrants all across the Virginia area.

Below is a list of organizations in DC, Maryland and Virginia that are dedicated to assisting immigrants.

Washington, DC

  1. American University- Washington College of Law
  2. American Immigration Council
  3. Asian Pacific American Legal
  4. Ayuda
  5. Catholic Charities of Washington
  6. Central American Resource Center
  7. George Washington University- Immigration Services
  8. Immigration Equality
  9. Many Languages One Voice
  10. National Immigration Law Center (NILC)
  11. The Dream.US
  12. United We Dream
  13. S. Committee For Refugees and Immigrants
  14. Whitman Walker Health- Legal Services program


  1. CASA
  2. Catholic Charities of Baltimore Immigration Legal Services
  3. Catholic Charities of Washington- Gaithersburg office
  4. Catholic Charities of Washington- Silver Spring office
  5. Catholic Charities of Wilmington- Eastern Shore Office
  6. Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center
  7. Foreign born Information and Referral network (Columbia office)
  8. Foreign born Information and Referral network (Laurel office)


  1. Ayuda (Falls Church)
  2. Catholic Charities (Falls Church)
  3. Hispanic Committee of Virginia
  4. Immigration Advocates Network
  5. Just Neighbors
  6. Legal Justice Aid Center
  7. Sin Barreras
  8. S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
  9. Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations
  10. Virginia Coalition for Immigration Rights

The Legal Justice Aid Center has information on upcoming DACA events.

About La'shawn Donelson 4 Articles
Multimedia Journalist. Native Washingtonian. Hope College Alumna. American University '18.

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