Pro Bono Newsletter
Pro Bono Is a Part of Professionalism n AILA Practice and Professionalism Center
American Immigration Lawyers Association www.aila.org
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Springing into DACA Action
by Susan Timmons Associate Director of AILA's Practice & Professionalism Center
was thinking the (super) early morning of June 15, 2012, just hours before President Obama announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Always up for a challenge, the conference-weary AILA National staff sprang into action, writing press releases and consumer advisories, covering meetings and scheduling press interviews.
here's never a dull moment at an AILA annual conference, is there?" That's what I
implementation. How would the government get this program up and running in 60 days? And even if that happened, how could we make sure that every DREAMer had a competent attorney?
As an association, AILA was ecstatic, as were our members and their clients. Many AILA and AIC departments have worked tireless hours to make sure our members were ready to file DACA applications come August 15, 2012.
The real question, however, was
Because of our existing close relationships, AILA began working with a national collaborative to develop a legal implementation strategy. The group developed into what is now called NLIST— the DACA National Legal Implementation Strategy Team— and is comprised of AILA, AIC, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the National Immigrant Law Center, Immigration Advocates Network, United We Dream, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, and NALEO. We also began working with representatives from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, National Immigrant Justice Center, and SEIU, as well as other stakeholders.
The Immigration Policy Center has put together a comprehensive Q&A Guide for DACA.
NLIST has launched the site www.weownthedream.org, which houses resources for DREAMers, pro bono referral options, access to AILA and National Immigration Project attorneys, pro se materials and an interactive online screening tool for deferred action eligibility.
It became clear that AILA was a critical partner in this work, and the only organization that could mobilize the private immigration bar. And boy did you respond! Flip a few pages in this newsletter and you will see how hard AILA chapters have been working, and how amazing it has been to watch. You are truly an incredible group of professionals and the lengths to which you will go to help deserving immigrants are unmatched. It is an honor to work for and with you.
u ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS: Spotlight on Joanne Lewis 2 DACA Lets Filmmaker Pursue His Dream 3 A Maggio Fellow's Summer 4 Voices of Pro Bono 6 www.aila.org 1