November 21, 2014
Raleigh, NC--President Barack Obama addressed the nation last night and introduced a program that will allow Dreamers and parents of Legal Permanent Residents and US citizens to be considered for relief from removal from the country and also provides them with work permits. El Centro Hispano, the Latin American Coalition, El Pueblo, Inc., the NC Latino Coalition and NALEO Educational Fund applaud the President's effort and recognize that this is an important first step towards solving the nation's pressing immigration crisis.
"This program will allow thousands of immigrants in North Carolina to come out of the shadows and continue to contribute to our state without fear of being torn away from their families," stated Ivan Parra, Executive Director of the NC Latino Coalition in Durham, NC.
Immigration rights advocated in North Carolina will be working collaboratively to build capacity and ensure that North Carolinians have accurate information about how this new program will affect their lives.
We will be working together to ensure that the community understands the risks of fraud that come with this announcement. It is important that North Carolinians understand that the application process has not yet begun and that it will likely not begin until the spring of 2015. There is currently no waiting list or application for this program. "Once the application becomes available in the spring of next year, we urge individuals to seek assistance from a licensed attorney or Board of Immigration Appeals accredited representative or an organization that has either of these on staff. Notarios and immigration consultants are not authorized to practice law unless they are licensed attorneys," stated Jess George, Executive Director of the Latin American Coalition in Charlotte, NC.
"We applaud the President's announcement but recognize that this program is not a substitute for immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship," stated Angeline Echeverria, Executive Director of El Pueblo, Inc. in Raleigh, NC. "We welcome this short term solution but look forward to a permanent solution that justly recognizes the many contributions that immigrants make to this country and respects their basic human rights."
Juliana Cabrales, Program Manager with the NALEO Educational Fund in Raleigh, NC shared that NALEO Educational Fund will be launching a new administrative relief hotline, (844) 411-iAMERICA (844-411-4263) in partnership with the iAmerica campaign. In the absence of specific details on eligibility and the application process, the hotline will ensure potential beneficiaries are informed about their rights, the executive action and legal assistance resources in their area.
"El Centro Hispano will also be hosting a series of information sessions starting next week on administrative relief," stated Pilar Rocha-Goldberg, President/CEO of El Centro Hispano in Durham, NC. "Anyone interested in attending these free sessions should call 919-687-4635 for more information."
This joint press release was drafted by El Centro Hispano, the Latin American Coalition, El Pueblo, Inc., the NC Latino Coalition, and the NALEO Educational Fund.