New Mexico attorneys, immigrant groups holding DACA renewal clinics

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There is still no deal on Capitol Hill regarding the future of hundreds of thousands covered by President Obama’s DACA program.

Meanwhile, a deadline is looming for some DACA recipients to renew their benefits before it is too late.

“There’s only a very small window for individuals to be able to renew their DACA,” explained attorney Adriel Orozco with the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center.

It has now been nearly two weeks since the Trump administration announced the end of the DACA program.

Since 2012, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals had granted work permits and a stay on deportation to nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the country as kids.

New Mexico is home to about 7,000 DACA recipients.

“So we’re trying to go across New Mexico to try to help as many individuals who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford an attorney so that they can renew,” Orozco said.

The Trump Administration has set a DACA renewal deadline of October 5 for those whose DACA benefits expire before March 5.

“As someone who benefits from this program, it’s disappointing although not surprising,” said NM Dream Team Field Organizer Yazmin Irazoqui-Ruiz. “Our community has been organizing, educating and mobilizing because we knew that this was a battle that was coming.”

She says local attorneys and immigrant groups are working hard, holding clinics and information sessions all over the state to make sure DACA beneficiaries who qualify for renewal submit their application right away.

“Outside of Albuquerque and Santa Fe there is nothing,” Irazoui-Ruiz said.

With a deadline now less than three weeks away, the push to reach underserved and rural communities is ramping up.

“This is the first time that we’re expanding so far across the state so that we could provide more workshops for those individuals who can’t make it to Albuquerque or larger areas like Santa Fe,” Orozco said.

“I also find comfort in my community that we rally together; we support each other and we have been protecting each other for many years and I have trust that we will continue to do that,” said Irazoqui-Ruiz.

A clinic was held in Farmington.

There are a series of DACA renewal clinics and know your rights workshops planned throughout New Mexico, click here for more information.

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