Some members of Congress are putting forward resources to help guide “DREAMers” through the new deferred action immigration policy and encourage students to start applying when the process opens Aug. 15.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Taskforce, led a press conference yesterday attended by two dozen members of Congress, representing several congressional caucuses. Gutierrez has a “warning” message on his site advising illegal immigrants to not pay anyone promising to help with the process until after Homeland Security begins accepting applications.
On Wednesday, Gutierrez spoke on the House floor to encourage those eligible to step forward and apply.
“I know who you are – you are the next generation of leaders of our great nation. On August 15, show all of America who you are,” he said. “And we need your example. Because it’s vital to remember that every time we’ve expanded civil rights in America – every time — someone tried to stand in the way. From women’s suffrage to voting rights for African-Americans to the Americans with Disabilities Act to marriage equality – someone will raise their voice against expanding the rights enjoyed by some Americans to all Americans.”
At yesterday’s presser, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) estimated that some 4,000 people in his district will be eligible.
“Finally, undocumented immigrants who are being deprived of opportunities through no fault of their own will soon be able to come out from the shadows and work and live under the sun without fear of unjust deportation,” he said.
Rangel created a page on his website to walk illegal immigrants through the new process.
“By harnessing the power of technology, we can provide some of the necessary administrative infrastructure to encourage and expeditiously process applications,” Rangel said. “This transition in Homeland Security enforcement should be and will be as seamless as possible, especially for the immigrants involved.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) are planning a workshop on Aug. 15 to help people apply for the immigration deferment. The website DreamRelief.org has also been set up to guide illegal immigrants through the process.