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AZ Public Defender Margo Cowan '85 Helps Students Start DREAM Act Paperwork

Tuesday, August 7, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Max Rodriguez
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Pima County (AZ) public defender Margo Cowan '85 has been meeting with undocumented students in Arizona to explain to them the process for applying for temporary legal status in order to go to college.

From the Arizona Daily Wildcat: "Cowan has been to Pueblo Magnet High School three times since Obama’s announcement granting deferred status to "DREAMers,” or undocumented students who have been in the country since before they were 16 years old, and are under the age of 31. The status allows students to remain in the U.S. for two years to attend college and can be renewed. During Cowan’s visits to the school, she provided parents and students with information about the qualifications for the deferred status and answered questions about various situations.

"We have an obligation to serve our community and particularly as lawyers we have an obligation to reach out and organize services for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford them,” Cowan said.

Other lawyers who have partnered with Cowan have signed a representation form agreeing to represent each of these students if they get detained by Border Patrol or Immigration and Customs Enforcement for being undocumented. Cowan is not charging any legal fees for her work or representation, although students do have to pay their own filing fees, she said.

Cowan will be hosting a fourth information session at Pueblo High Magnet School on Aug. 13 where students will be able to take their necessary documents or ask her questions about the process.

According to a study from the Immigration Policy Center of the American Immigration Council entitled "Who and Where the DREAMers Are,” more than 50,000 Arizona students will benefit from the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action Initiative. Of these students, 65 percent are immediate beneficiaries, or students who are within the qualifying age group, and 35 percent are future beneficiaries, not yet 15 years old.

"These students are the future of our country,” Cowan said. "They are for all intents and purposes U.S. citizens except the paper.”

Read the full article in the Arizona Daily Wildcat, "Advisers, lawyers help local students start DREAM Act paperwork"

Margo Cowan is a Pima County (AZ) public defender and champion of migrant rights for 25 years.  She is also a Sanctuary leader, board member of Derechos Humanos, and co-founder of the group No More Deaths.

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