Legal Resources and Referrals

The Dream Resource Center will be offering FREE Virtual Legal Clinics from 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. on Fridays. Services are available for students, faculty, and staff. Online Legal Clinics will be conducted by the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) via Zoom.

Free services will include:

  • Consultations
  • DACA Renewals
  • Obtaining other Immigration Remedies (OIR)
  • Assistance with the naturalization process
  • Removal Defense
  • And more..

To book an appointment visit Carecenla

About our partner

Who is CARECEN? Since its founding in 1983, when thousands of Central Americans fled the brutality of civil war, CARECEN has been working to change an unjust immigration system, win legal status for immigrants, and foster community activism on issues such as education reform, workers’ and immigrants’ rights, economic justice and community strengthening. CARECEN, is the largest Central American immigrant rights organization in the country that works hard to empower Central Americans and all immigrants by defending human and civil rights, working for social and economic justice, and promoting cultural diversity. They envision Los Angeles becoming a place where Central Americans and all other communities live in peace and dignity, enjoying economic well-being, social justice, and political empowerment.

Meet Our Legal Team

Andrew Knapp

Andrew Knapp Portrait

Phone: (213) 385-7800 | Ext. 113

About Andrew

Andrew Knapp is a lawyer at the Central American Resource Center. Andrew is also an adjunct professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, California, and Western State College of Law in Irvine, California, where he teaches both law schools’ Ninth Circuit Appellate Litigation Clinics. In that capacity, he regularly serves, along with his law students, as appointed pro bono counsel for immigration cases assigned through the Ninth Circuit’s law school clinic pro bono program.

Book an appointment with Andrew Knapp

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

DACA is an executive order that protects certain individuals from deportation, allows them to apply for a work permit, and opens the door to other opportunities such as applying for a social security number, buying a house, opening a business, and even traveling abroad through Advanced Parole.
Individuals who demonstrate that they meet the guidelines below may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) for a period of two years, subject to renewal for a period of two years, and may be eligible for employment authorization.
DACA requirements:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012, meaning that:

    -Never had a lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012*, or
    -Any lawful immigration status or parole that you obtained prior to June 15, 2012, had expired as of June 15, 2012;

  6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

What is the current state of DACA?
USCIS is currently not processing new DACA applications but is accepting Renewal Applications and Advance Parole.

Legal Fee Grants
The Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles has partnered with the Los Angeles Community College District to fund a grant program to provide DACA and Advance Parole Fee Assistance to students going through the DACA application program. The $495 and $575 grants do not have to be paid back. LACCD students can apply through an online application and will be awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis.
To be eligible for a grant, applicants:

  • Must be a currently enrolled student at an LACCD campus
  • Must be a student applying for or renewing a DACA Application or applying for Advance Parole
  • Must demonstrate financial need

How to qualify:

  1. Attend a Legal Workshop provided by your campus

  2. Meet with Legal Provider at one of the Hubs in LACCD to complete your DACA Application
  3. Complete the grant application (link will be issued by your legal service provider after filing your DACA Application)

Please know that, if awarded, the Legal Service Provider will issue a check and mail the complete application on your behalf to USCIS.

Book an appointment with:

Public Charge
Being deemed a charge to the government is a reason that a person could be denied a green card, visa, or admission into the United States. Some public benefits will qualify someone as being a public charge BUT not all.
There are public benefits programs that do NOT trigger public charge and are safe to use. To figure out whether public charge even applies to you, meet with our lawyer to discuss your case.
This is a list of public benefits that do not affect you. Public Charge Safe to Use List

Other resources

Name of Resource Link Services Provided
CHIRLA Offering DACA Renewal assistance along with paying the $495.00 fee that USCIS charges for all applicants. Everything is done remotely, please call (559) 854-9590.
Mission Asset Fund DACA Fee Assistance Program
SIREN DACA Renewal Scholarships available for those who qualify.
Centro La Familia Offering DACA renewal assistance. Please call the office at (559) 237-2961

DRC Social Media