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DC Funds Legal Assistance for Immigrants as DACA Recipients Worry About the Future

Community organizations are launching programs to help immigrants get legal advice as many families worry about the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

President Trump announced Sept. 5 he would wind down the program, which allows people who entered the U.S. illegally as children to receive 2-year renewable work permits. Congress will have to pass legislation to continue the program, or let it expire in six months, President Trump said.

Nearly 800,000 people, known as "dreamers," have been granted the reprieve from deportation.

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced $1 million in grants that will be given to ten different organizations that help immigrant families get legal advice on matters including citizen applications, "Know Your Rights" trainings and litigation to protect DACA information.

Briya Public Charter School, which offers early childhood education alongside language classes and job training for parents, was one organization that received a grant. The school used the money to fund legal seminars and provide free legal consultations. About 100 people attended one seminar, News4’s Mark Segraves reported.

"This grant addresses many of the barriers families face when seeking legal information and services, like cost and location," Raquel Farah, Briya Student Services Coordinator, said in a statement. "We’ll be able to provide free services for people within their communities, in locations they are already comfortable with."

The mayor’s office also released a guide, Ensuring the Safety and Security of DC’s Immigrant Community, detailing information about resources available to immigrant families. 

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