|Rev. Dr. Larry Rankin, left, helps the father of an undocumented young alien who could not attend the DREAMers clinic at South Street Ministry in person. Photo from Marilyn Beecher of JFON.|
ORLANDO – South Street Ministry helped set nearly 70 young “dreamers” on the path to legal U.S. residency by providing space for a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Clinic on Sept. 8.
Attorneys from Justice for Our Neighbors, a Florida Conference partner, and the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association were on hand to review applicants’ paperwork in support of their request for legal status under an executive order signed by President Barack Obama in June.
Immigrants approved for legal status under the president’s directive would be eligible to work, attend college or join the military.
The measure, dubbed DREAMers for its roots in the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors bill that failed recently in Congress, targets undocumented residents ages 15 to 30 who have been in the U.S. for at least five years and came here before their 16th birthday. They also must be in school or have graduated high school or be honorably discharged from the military and have no criminal record.
Rev. Dr. Larry Rankin of Lakeland, a retired elder and former Global Missions director for the conference, volunteered his time to help applicants with paperwork. He said most applicants at the clinic appeared to be from Central and Latin America, though other countries of origin also were represented.