Roanoke College students to take hands-on role during deferred action clinic this Saturday at Salem campus
This Saturday, Roanoke College students will experience real-life immigration law in action.
Political science students who are enrolled in an immigration seminar at Roanoke will help undocumented U.S. immigrants to submit deferred action documents as part of a deferred action clinic, which will be held at the College on Oct. 27 in the Colket Center’s Kime Conference Room.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as the DREAM Act, allows children of undocumented immigrants, who moved to the United States before they were 16 years old, to stay in the country and work legally for two years. The program, which President Obama announced this year, does not provide permanent residence or citizenship, but it offers temporary relief from deportation with the option for renewal. Individuals must be younger than 31 years old to qualify.
Some Roanoke Valley church leaders suggested and prescreened the clinic’s 13 male and female participants. Most came to the United States before they were 10 years old. They hail from a variety of Central and South American countries, including Argentina, El Salvador, Mexico and Honduras.
Roanoke seniors who are a part of Dr. Joshua Rubongoya’s international relations seminar class at the College screened these participants by phone in September to verify that they qualify for the deferred action program.
The clinic is sponsored by Poarch Van Doren, a Salem law firm, in conjunction with Roanoke College. The firm’s attorneys will train the 16 to 20 student volunteers from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, before the clinic begins.
The clinic’s first shift begins at 1 p.m., while the second will start at 2 p.m.
During each shift, two-student teams will work with one participant at a time to fill out a deferred action application and to copy and process documents.
Poarch Van Doren will see these cases through to completion pro-bono.
For more information or to arrange to cover this unique event, contact Roanoke College’s public relations office at (540) 375-2282.
Editor’s note: The clinic is not open to the public as all of the participant slots are filled.
Submitted by Roanoke College