by Brenda Alvarez, this article originally appeared on NEAToday.org
Ten years ago, Aura Menjivar Lara made the long and harrowing trek from El Salvador to the U.S. She left her homeland—riddled with violence and despair—with dreams of a better life. Today, she wears an ankle monitor, which is usually reserved for convicted criminals on parole, fears deportation and the loss of her son, 7, to a shelter. Menjivar is part of an organization called DREAMERs’ Moms, a non-profit organization of women and mothers who advocate for comprehensive immigration reform that includes keeping families together.
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The mother of one shared her story during the National Education Association’s Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) clinic on August 23. NEA, in partnership with DC DREAM, hosted the first ever DACA clinic in Washington, D.C. for area residents.
The immigration policy that helps DREAMer-eligible students, their families, and communities with temporary relief from deportation proceedings, as well as apply for renewable work permits, went into effect two years ago, impacting an estimated 700,000 students.
The relief expires this month, however, through the NEA-DC DREAM partnership, nearly a dozen attorneys volunteered to help run the clinic and assist students and their families with the renewal process, and help new applicants apply for work authorization and the temporary right to stay in the U.S.
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