Participating Teton High School seniors understood the power and impact of Immigrant Hope-Wyoming/Idaho’s Youth Philanthropy Grant Application immediately. There was little question that it would receive the full grant award of $960 to provide two Dreamer scholarships for present and/or former Teton High School students.
DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or Dreamers, is a US government program for high school students and graduates, brought to the US as children, to obtain a renewable document which gives them the freedom to live, work and study in peace in the US.
Many Teton High School students and graduates are Dreamers. In the state of Idaho, there are over 3,100 Dreamers. In neighboring Wyoming, there are just under 1,000. Since Sept. 2017, the program has been in jeopardy, and as a result, advocates like nationally well-known CLINIC (cliniclegal.org) state that, “given the uncertainty of the DACA landscape, CLINIC recommends that current DACA recipients consider filing renewals without delay, in the event that a future decision causes USCIS to stop accepting renewal requests.”
Understandably, Teton County ID Dreamers whose DACA cards expire in 2019 could be overwhelmed by this sooner-than-expected expense. The minimum cost of these cards is prohibitive for many students in Teton Valley. If a lawyer must be utilized, the cost is approximately 4-6 times the minimum cost.
Immigrant Hope – WY/ID is the only US Department of Justice Office of Legal Access Programs Recognized Nonprofit between Twin Falls ID and Laramie WY. In their 25 months of service to Teton County, ID, they have helped well over 100 families and individuals with their legal immigration paperwork, including many DACA recipients. Youth Philanthropy students understood the importance of providing Dreamer scholarships to two deserving THS students and/or recent graduates whose DACA card has expired in 2018 or will expire 2019. United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) requires a $495 fee for their work and “biometrics” – fingerprinting, photo and background check on each DACA renewal.
This grant award will cover the necessary USCIS fees, with Immigrant Hope-WY/ID walking the chosen recipients through each detail of the USCIS legal paperwork at zero cost to the student. Additionally, Immigrant Hope-WY/ID bestowed the honor of having Youth Philanthropy students guide them in choosing the two students and/or recent graduates that these scholarships might help. Seniors recognized that this grant would directly affect the lives of two of their classmates, neighbors or friends and knew they had to fund in full.