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KU law school providing free legal assistance for DACA renewal

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Update, Sept. 18: Originally, the DACA renewal walk-in clinic was intended only for Douglas County residents, but an outpouring of volunteer support now makes it possible for the clinic to serve anyone, regardless of residence.

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Law will provide free legal assistance to individuals eligible to renew their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) authorization before the Oct. 5 deadline set by the White House.

Through the DACA Renewal Clinic, KU Law students and faculty will help eligible Douglas County residents complete and submit renewal applications so they may continue to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation. In addition, KU students may seek assistance through a separate service by Legal Services for Students (see information below).

“These applications must be finished and mailed in time to be received by the government by October 5,” said Melanie DeRousse, associate clinical professor of law and director of Douglas County Legal Aid. “Any applications that are received after that date will result in a denial of renewal, and the work authorization and protection from deportation will expire on the date listed on the person’s work authorization card. The timeline is very short, and the consequences of not getting paperwork done in time are extremely harsh in this scenario.”

The walk-in clinic will operate out of the Douglas County Legal Aid Society office in 105 Green Hall, 1535 W. 15th St.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 19 | 3:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 21 | 3:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 24 | Noon-6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 26 | 3:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 28 | 3:30-6:30 p.m.

No appointment is necessary, but please call 785-864-5564 in advance with questions or if an interpreter or other accommodations are needed. Please park in the Allen Fieldhouse garage, located on Irving Hill Road just west of Naismith Drive. Bring parking garage tickets to the clinic for validation.

Clients eligible to attend the clinic to apply for a two-year renewal of DACA must:

  • Have DACA status and a work permit that expires on or before March 5, 2018, and
  • Not currently be involved in immigration proceedings.
  • Be prepared to pay the $495 government filing fee upon submission of the renewal application. (KU Law services are free, but the application requires a fee.)

If the above does not apply, please refer to this advisory from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (English | Spanish) and contact an immigration attorney to determine your next steps.

What to bring
Please bring with you:

  • Your work authorization card,
  • Your Social Security card,
  • Your state-issued ID, if you have one,
  • A copy of your first DACA application and approval notice,
  • Two passport photos, and
  • If you have been arrested, charged with a crime or received a ticket, any paperwork related to that offense.

DACA allowed people who were brought to the U.S. as children to obtain the ability to work, attend school and remain free from deportation for two-year periods as long as they met strict eligibility criteria. Those criteria included being enrolled in or having graduated from high school or participating in military service, and being free of any criminal convictions for felonies or serious misdemeanors. Nearly 6,000 Kansans obtained lawful work authorization and protection from deportation through the DACA program by meeting those strict requirements; many will now require immediate legal assistance to determine their eligibility for renewal and to process renewal paperwork before the deadline.

While the KU Law DACA Renewal Clinic is prepared to serve the broader community, Legal Services for Students is available specifically for KU students. KU students who wish to speak with a lawyer about issues related to the DACA program and its pending rescission should contact Legal Services for Students at 785-864-5665. The office is located in 212 Green Hall and open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. All personal information will remain completely confidential.