It has been more than a year since the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc.’s (CLINIC) Religious Immigration Services (RIS) section began taking Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) cases. Back on June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new process, granting relief to undocumented young people who came to the United States as children and do not have proper immigration documents. This new program allowed these young people to have work authorization and stay in the country without the threat of deportation.
There’s no question that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has touched the lives of thousands of young people and, in turn, continues to inspire activism for immigration reform, transcending communities to inform federal action. At CLINIC, we are moved by the journeys of so many DREAMers. One such inspirational young woman is Denia Perez, the nation’s first Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited DREAMer.