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Next Step in Their Journey: a guest blog post by our Citizenship Intern!

Guest post by FLIC intern Derek Centola
University of Miami Senior Political Science and International Studies Double Major
 
FNA Yard SignAnticipation, excitement, and the early morning smell of coffee filled the air of the FIU College of Law the morning of January 26th as a team of eager Florida New Americans volunteers, community organizers, and attorneys gathered to assist the waves of South Florida area Legal Permanent Residents on their path to citizenship.
 
It truly was a great start to 2013 as FLIC continued its citizenship program into its second year of existence. The clinic, a co-sponsorship between FLIC, FIU, and the Univision 23 television station, was a huge success with service to several clients who completed their paperwork, met one-on-one with immigration attorneys, and were prepared to move on to the next step in their journey toward naturalization.
 
FL Dream at FIU LawIn addition to helping clients with citizenship requirements, the January clinic was 2013’s first opportunity to work with the FL Dream campaign. Low-income undocumented youth clientele were assisted with applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). We at FLIC look forward to incorporating this service at future clinics with the help of the other FL Dream campaign organizations SWER, Pico Florida, FIU, and Americans for Immigrant Justice.
 
Moving into February, we are looking forward to our second clinic of the year. This month we will be up in Deerfield Beach at Microcamp, 833 W. Sample Road, from 11am – 3pm on February 23rd. All attendees will receive assistance with filling out the proper US Citizenship and Immigration Service forms, meet one-on-one with a pro-bono attorney to discuss each specific situation, and receive further guidance on becoming a citizen.
 
Can’t make it out in February? No big deal. We have already scheduled our March Citizenship Clinics!  Saturday, March 9th from 11am – 3pm we will be at the American Muslim Community Center at 811 Wilma Street, Longwood, FL 32750.  Saturday,  March 16th from 11am – 3pm we will be at Rollins College at Mills Building, 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789.
 

What you can do right now:

FNA Volunteer Latoya at FIU Law

To apply for citizenship, check out our Florida New Americans website to know if you qualify, what documents you need to bring, and to schedule an appointment.
 
To apply for DACA, check out our FL Dream website to know if you qualify what documents you need to bring, and to schedule an appointment.
 
To volunteer at any clinic contact Amber Chaudhry at (305)-571-7254 or amber@floridaimmigrant.org.

A Dream Deferred?

By: Vanessa Nuñez, Students Working for Equal Rights (SWER)

Two years ago I remember sitting in my literature class reading Harlem by Langston Hughes and thinking as the DREAM Act had just failed, and my final motion denied in court, will my dreams be deferred?

I graduated from Miami-Dade’s Honors College with a 3.83 GPA, was accepted to all six universities I applied to, and even then, I still could not attend any of them. My dream was being deferred…

After a year of not attending school, and feeling helpless and depressed, June 15th came around and turned my world around!

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)… I knew it was not something permanent, but it was a big step forward! I remember that day coming back from Gainesville and having to re-read all the messages to believe that the announcement was real.

A week ago I found myself filling out the application for the Deferred Action and, though I was very calm, the second I saw myself staring at the square designated for the “applicant signature”, I felt overwhelmed with joy and a sense of accomplishment that no words could describe. With tears filling my eyes I signed the application and completed my packet.

This last Wednesday, I sent my package out to immigration and I am overcome by a sense of relief, freedom, and happiness that I have not felt in a while! But this feeling is not only for a personal reason, but also because I know that my sisters and brothers in the struggle will be feeling this too! I can continue my studies, work, and give back to the community that has invested so much in me. I can freely drive without fear; I can show an ID… simple things that I have longed for a while now, and that now is at my fingertips.

I am ecstatic to say the least, but it does not end here; we must continue to push for the DREAM Act!

A Dream Deferred?… I think not!

Deportation deferred!!

To know more about free legal clinics for DREAMers in South Florida, go to www.fldream.org