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Asylum presentation sheds light on DACA

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Students learn how to file for and maintain their status.

By Kenya Harris, Opinion Editor

(L-R) Yixuan Liu, JD/LLM, listens to questions asked by second year nursing major Iryna Gavrylyak during a presentation given by the Immigrant Defenders Law Center on the legal aspects of seeking asylum in the U.S. Photo taken in the Unity Center of Los Angeles Valley College in Los Angeles, Calif. on Tuesday Oct. 17, 2023. (Jeremy Ruiz | Valley Star)

The Immigrants Defense Law Center held a presentation at Valley College on the process of filing for asylum. Hosted by the Dream Resource Center the event was made available to students on Tuesday in the Unity Center’s computer lab. Students from Guatemala, Ukraine, Mexico and other countries gathered together to receive information about filing for asylum.

Attorneys Yixuan Liu and Nicholas Bokowski led the presentation and lecture. The team of two offered details about the asylum process advising students about the immigration process and dealing with the long wait times to hear back from various government agencies.

“One take-away for DACA students is to please avoid any criminal activities including DUI,” said attorney Yixuan Liu. “The most important thing is to not be involved in any criminal issues. That is important for immigrants.”

Judge Hanen delivered the latest ruling in September 2023, stating that the DACA program was illegally established but renewals are still being processed on an annual basis. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is at a standstill as new applications are no longer accepted. Many who are seeking asylum now entered the US as children.

Attorney Nicholas Borkowski lectured on youth focused policies. Borkowski advised that Special Immigrant Juvenile status is given to those under 21 years of age, who can demonstrate neglect, abuse or abandonment by a parent, and that return to their home country is not possible. These juveniles can then potentially receive a green card.

Liu explained that there are two different types of asylum categories; affirmative and defensive. Affirmative Asylum refers to those who are within one year of their arrival in the US, and those who fall outside of the one year are defensive asylum seekers.

Attorney Liu presented a powerpoint that described the ins and outs of applying for asylum, explaining the kinds of documentation that a person will need to seek protection. In addition to the cover letter, an asylum seeker will need supporting documents, like a Country Conditions report, which is a government-made report focusing on the condition in the foreign country the applicant is seeking asylum from.

“A lot of students aren’t aware of the resources we have here,” said counselor and DRC coordinator Javier Carbajal. “With these types of workshops you can save a person thousands of dollars. It serves as a draw that gets people to come in for one-on-one consultations. All Valley students have access to consultations. We even had a student here who didn't know they were eligible for a visa.”

The Dream Resource Center offers a $500 grant for students that can be used to get a consultation with a lawyer and is one of many campus resources open to undocumented students. For assistance with a specific case, DRC counselors are available most weekdays at the Unity Center.


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