HRC Blog

Deferred Action in Boston

The following post comes from Mario Rodas, HRC Boston Diversity Co-Chair, and Hyacinth Alvaran, HRC Diversity Program Associate:

This past weekend, HRC Boston had the fantastic opportunity of partnering with the Student Immigrant Movement (SIM) and Greater Boston Legal Services to help young people who were brought to the U.S. as children without immigration papers or whose papers have expired. In June, President Obama and the Department of Homeland Security announced respite for these youth under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program by allowing them, if they meet certain criteria, to stay in the U.S. for a renewable 2-year term without fear of deportation and to apply for a work permit. This policy went into effect on August 15, and a September 1 clinic at the El Salvadorian consulate was one of the many clinics that hundreds of organizations are holding across the country to provide free help on filling out and submitting the appropriate forms to USCIS. More than 100 excited youth attended this Boston clinic. The next one in area will be on September 9 at the Lawrence Family Development Charter School in Lawrence, MA. With the help of partner organizations, SIM has ambitious goals of legalizing thousands of undocumented students in Massachusetts, unleashing their full potential and allowing them to come out of the shadows.

HRC publicized the event, and seven HRC volunteers were among the many who helped make this event successful. HRC volunteer Evan Roth-Howe shares a personal reflection from the clinic: “My grandparents emigrated from Nazi Germany in 1939, and eventually were able to establish happy, healthy, successful lives in Chicago.  If I can contribute to other families getting the same opportunity, even in the smallest way, I'm happy to do it.  I wouldn't be here if someone hadn't done something similar for my grandparents 73 years ago.”

HRC thanks the Student Immigrant Movement, Greater Boston Legal Services, the El Salvador Consulate, and Neighbors United for a Better East Boston for this partnership opportunity. It would not have been possible without the help of Mario Rodas, a leader for both HRC and the Student Immigrant Movement. For more information about the next clinic on September 9th, please contact Mario at

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