On August 15, the first of perhaps a million or more people who qualify for the DREAM Act will begin stepping forward to apply and pay fees for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a form of temporary deportation relief for undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria. 

Each case will be evaluated individually, but I am encouraging those who meet the basic criteria to consider applying for DACA or at least get all the information they can about whether it is the right thing for them.

Thousands will join me and Sen. Dick Durbin, the author of the DREAM Act, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago at the Navy Pier for a workshop on the new program conducted by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and numerous local groups.

Almost all of the young people I have talked to are eager to come forward. They fought hard for deportation relief and want to be able to work, drive, go to school, and fight on for broader, permanent immigration reform, including the DREAM Act. But for those who are hesitant, I suggest that there are at least ten reasons you should come forward if you qualify:

1) The young people who come forward for relief under the deferred action program will be taking the first steps on behalf of the estimated 10-12 million undocumented immigrants who live and work in the United States and who will someday be full members of our society.

For the full essay, click here to go to The Huffington Post

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