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Students In Norwalk Celebrate Program That Helps Immigrant Children

Members of Connecticut Students for a Dream celebrate the two-year anniversary of DACA at the South Norwalk Community Center.
Members of Connecticut Students for a Dream celebrate the two-year anniversary of DACA at the South Norwalk Community Center. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

NORWALK, Conn. -- Connecticut Students for a Dream celebrated the two-year anniversary of the passage of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in Norwalk on Thursday.

DACA was implemented two years ago to defer action against people who immigrated to the United States as children and may be living here illegally. To date, the program has provided protection from deportation and work permits for more than 600,000 people nationwide, and 3,500 people in Connecticut, according to Connecticut Students for a Dream.

"It provides safety, much-needed peace of mind, work permits and relief from deportation" said Renato Muguerza, a member of Connecticut Students for a Dream, a group of United We Dream. "It's good for empowerment for people in the immigration system, to know that they can have a job legally and can tell their story and not be afraid."

Members of Connecticut Students for a Dream hosted an informational session at the South Norwalk Community Center on Thursday evening. They discussed renewals for people in the program, which occur every two years, as well as provided information for people who have turned 15 since the program was enacted and are now eligible for DACA.

They talked about how to renew, when to renew, and what forms must be filled out.

"I think it's important because we need to let people know who may not know about DACA," said Tashi Sanchez-Llaury, a member of Connecticut Students for a Dream. "It makes people feel safe and a sense of trust in the community. Especially for undocumented youth, it can help provide them access to college and let them pursue the careers they want."

Connecticut Students for a Dream will also be hosting informational sessions this month in New London, Willimantic, New Haven and Stamford. They will also host a clinic in Hartford on Aug. 30 with lawyers who can help guide people through the DACA process.