Chicago, IL - Associate Freddy Fonseca's diligent efforts in a recent pro bono case prevented his young client from being deported from the United States. Mr. Fonseca's knowledge of deferred action processes and immigration laws helped ensure his client had access to justice.
Deferred action is a discretionary grant of relief by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to individuals who are in removal proceedings, who have final orders of removal, or who have never been in removal proceedings. Individuals who have deferred action status can apply for employment authorization and are in the U.S. under color of law. On June 15, 2012, President Obama signed a memo calling for deferred action (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA")) for certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children and have pursued education or military service here.
After going through training with the National Immigrant Justice Center's (NIJC) Deferred Action Clinic for Immigrant Youth, Mr. Fonseca took on a pro bono case involving a 17 year-old undocumented individual who had lived in the United States since he was seven years old and faced the possibility of being deported. As private counsel to his client, Mr. Fonseca filed his client's DACA and employment authorization applications with DHS after conducting an initial intake interview and collecting required documentation. In February 2013, the DHS sent notification that Mr. Fonseca's client's DACA and employment applications had been approved and that he would be protected from removal. Without Mr. Fonseca's assistance, his client would not have had access to legal resources and would likely have faced a very different outcome.
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