The South Asian Deferred Action Coalition has advised recipients of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), or those considering applying for one to consult “good sources” of information such as the USCIS website and community organizations in order to protect their interests and safety.
The coalition hosted a ‘Know Your Rights’ seminar at the Indo-American Center with members of the local Chicagoland South Asian Community Dec. 13.
“In this time of uncertainty, we strongly recommend that DACA recipients turn to good sources of information such as the USCIS website, the Indo-American Center, similar community organizations, or a trusted lawyer for updates about the status of the DACA program,” attorney Tejas Shah said.
“DACA recipients who have traveled abroad should return to the United States before Jan. 20, 2017. Individuals who are considering applying for or renewing their DACA protection should consult with a legal advisor before doing so,” Shah said.
Earlier the coalition said in a statement that it is concerned about threats to DACA and other group of immigrant populations, and the anti-immigrant statements that were made by President-elect Donald Trump during his campaign.
Besides Shah, speakers at the seminar included Radhika Sharma Gordon of Apna Ghar on social services for the South Asian community and Tanvi Sheth on LGBT resources.
They advised that individuals and families can go to a mutual aid organization closest or most convenient to them regardless of the ethnicity listed in their name. For help with finding out if one is eligible for assistance with health care, social security, housing, utility bill payment, English classes, citizenship exam preparation, and job training/placement, people were asked to go to Albany Park Community Center; Asian Human Services;Chinese American Service League; Indo American Center, West Rogers Park/West Ridge, among others.
“No matter what your immigration status is, many health and human services are available to you at low cost or no charge. If you aren’t sure where you can go, consider going to your local public library to find out about local agencies and services. You can request translation and interpretation in many of these organizations,” advised Radhika Sharma Gordon, manager of education and outreach at Apna Ghar, Inc.
Tanvi Sheth discussed the need to have affirming identity documents with accurate name and gender marker and the lack of security regarding rules concerning change of gender marker on federal documents. “Now more than ever, transgender folks who plan to update their identity documents such as gender marker associated with social security administration and passport should update their documents as soon as possible,” Sheth said.
People needing assistance with updating their name and gender marker on state and Federal documents were directed to contact Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois.