The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the American Immigration Council (AIC), the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN), and the Own the Dream campaign are proud to announce the launch of a new “Pocket DACA” app for smartphones and tablets that will help immigrants brought to this country as children understand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process. Through DACA, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is granting two-year, renewable reprieves from deportation to eligible young immigrants who meet certain criteria.
The free app, available for download from the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores, offers a self-screening tool for DACA applicants to understand their eligibility and a searchable directory of listings for immigration legal services providers, including non-profit groups, in all 50 states. The app also includes links to news about the deferred action process and frequently asked questions.
“This app is yet another way that AILA’s national organization and members are reaching out to the young undocumented population who may be eligible for this potentially life-changing opportunity, while offering protection from scammers who may try to take advantage of a vulnerable population,” said Laura Lichter, AILA’s Immediate Past President who was involved in developing a related online screening tool.
“AIC is proud to have been a part of the development of this new app, which includes an easy-to-use and accurate screening tool and answers questions potential applicants may have. This free app will leverage the power of technology and social media to help young immigrants decide whether to apply for this temporary relief,” said AIC’s Executive Director Benjamin Johnson.
“Our goal with Pocket DACA is to empower those who may be eligible for Deferred Action to better understand the requirements and find reputable legal help, but also to engage more deeply with potential applicants about their experiences and concerns,” said Matthew Burnett, Director of the Immigration Advocates Network. “By offering an interactive self-screening tool and contact information for local legal services providers, the app increases the chances that eligible young immigrants will be successful in their request. The generation of young immigrants who can benefit from DACA are incredibly tech and social-media savvy. This app will put them in the driver’s seat when it comes to their future.”
Myrna Orozco, National Field Manager, Own the Dream Campaign emphasized the convenience of Pocket DACA, saying, “Since DACA was announced, the leaders of the United We Dream Network have been working together with our national legal partners to bring the best minds in organizing, policy, community service and the law together to make sure that DREAMers had access to useful tools. Pocket DACA will enable us to literally carry these tools in our pockets so we can assist those without access to smartphones and apps. Whether we're conducting outreach online, canvassing at a shopping mall or school, DREAMers everywhere will be able to increase the number of DACA experts around the country, one pocket at a time."
Technology partners for the app include Mobisoft Infotech, an award-winning technology company that helps enterprises achieve their business goals by defining their mobile initiatives and reaping the benefits of mobility, and Pro Bono Net, a national nonprofit that increases access to justice through innovative uses of technology.
A Spanish version of Pocket DACA will be available later this year.