Lori McCune

Lori McCune is a Department of Justice-accredited representative for Immigrant Hope in Idaho and Wyoming. The organization offers low-cost services and advice about immigration-related legal matters.

Editor's note: This service is being offered by the local chapter of Immigrant Hope. That organization only has the resources to help those in Jackson, Teton Valley, Idaho and Big Piney, Wyoming.

Dreamers with a year or less remaining on their DACA status should renew now, ahead of an anticipated June U.S. Supreme Court decision, a local legal aid group advised.

The nonprofit Immigrant Hope of Wyoming and Idaho is offering free legal assistance to those who have status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, better known as DACA.

“The Trump administration attempted to end DACA in September of 2017, but several lawsuits challenged the termination,” said Lori McCune, director of Immigrant Hope of Wyoming and Idaho. “Several lower courts have held that the federal government must continue accepting DACA renewals.”

Justices will be ruling on whether the Trump administration will be able to end DACA. Immigrant Hope, a national nonprofit, hopes the program remains intact, but there are several different ways it could go.

“One possibility is they end the DACA Program, but allow current DACA recipients to keep their status until their DACA expires,” the nonprofit said in a press release. “If that happens, DACA recipients will only be allowed to work legally until their DACA expires.”

Immigrant Hope is offering free DACA renewal help ahead of “the momentous and potentially devastating Supreme Court decision on DACA,” McCune said in the release. The group wants to defray the costs for Dreamers, specifically the $495 fee charged by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

“Dreamers and other immigrants are an important part of the Jackson Hole and Teton Valley communities,” McCune said. “Many are essential workers, but a large number work in the service industry and have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. DACA recipients usually pay for the renewals on their own every two years, but many have been hit hard by COVID-19 layoffs.”

Immigrant Hope of Wyoming and Idaho serves Teton Valley, Idaho, the greater Jackson area and Big Piney, Wyoming. It is seeking donations to support the legal assistance program. Email wyomingidaho@immigranthope.org for information.

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or courts@jhnewsandguide.com.

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