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WASHINGTON, DC- Google announced that it would be donating $250,000 to cover Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program applications for more than 500 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, known as Dreamers.
Google has been a vocal supporter of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which shields Dreamers from deportation, joining numerous efforts to block President Donald Trump from repealing it.
DACA currently protects about 640,000 undocumented young immigrants, including about 5,000 South Asians. As of July 2020, an estimated 300,000 young people are eligible for the program and still waiting for a chance to apply. That includes 55,000 who have aged into eligibility over the last three years.
“For generations, talented immigrants have helped America drive technological breakthroughs and scientific advancements that have created millions of new jobs in new industries, enriching our culture and our economy,” Google’s chief legal officer Kent Walker wrote in a blog post.
“We believe it’s important that Dreamers have a chance to apply for protection under the program so that they can safeguard their status in the United States.”
“But in the middle of a global pandemic that has led to economic hardship, there is concern that many Dreamers cannot afford to pay the application fee,” he said.
“Dreamers and other talented immigrants enrich our communities, contribute to our economy, and exemplify the innovative spirit of America,” he said.
Google is making the $250,000 donation to the immigration nonprofit United We Dream.
This grant builds on over $35 million in support that Google.org and Google employees have contributed over the years to support immigrants and refugees worldwide, Walker noted.
With DACA application fees costing $495 per person, United We Dream has seen a massive increase in requests from DACA eligible youth needing financial support in order to apply.
Over the past month, United We Dream has received more than 600 requests for DACA scholarships through its application fund, 218 of which have been for initial DACA applicants, it said.
“Cost shouldn’t prevent undocumented young people from getting the protections from deportation they deserve,” said Juanita Monsalve, Senior Marketing and Creative Director of United We Dream, seeking donations to its DACA Fund.