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Salesforce Legal Teams Provide Pro Bono Support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

By Megan McCollum March 14, 2016

Salesforce LegalOn February 11, 2016, the legal departments of Salesforce and Salesforce.org hosted their second annual half-day DACA legal clinic. Fifteen members of the legal departments, seven members of Latinoforce, an internal Salesforce employee resource group, and members of Legal Services for Children (LSC) assisted clients with their completion of DACA renewal applications. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or “DACA,” was created by a 2012 presidential executive order to allow undocumented immigrant youth to legally stay and work or attend school in the United States. If a DACA permit is not renewed every two years, DACA recipients lose their deferred-action status, which results in loss of their protection from deportation, their job, and their ability to obtain a driver’s license.

The afternoon began with a panel of speakers eager to share their paths towards working at Salesforce. The panel was moderated by Douglas de Figueiredo, a contracts negotiator in the legal department, as well as a member of Latinoforce. Luis Liang, a sales representative, spoke about being a DACA beneficiary and shared his challenging path in applying for DACA, explaining that, “many doors will close in your life and you will need to keep knocking for the one that will open.” Yvonne Marron, senior corporate counsel, spoke about the sacrifices her parents made immigrating to California’s central coast to provide for her and her six siblings. When asked for advice during the panel she said, “Education will open doors for you—education is the greatest equalizer.” Andrea Del-Pan, Pro Bono Director, Legal Services for Children, added that, “the youth were inspired by the panelists, who offered their experiences and gave them hope about their future.”

DACA legal clinic

Andrea also highlighted the benefit of the clinic: “The DACA renewal clinic allowed LSC to process DACA renewal applications for 7 youths in one afternoon! We simply don’t have the internal capacity to process that many applications in one day.” DACA renewals are complicated for the average person, requiring the renewing applicant to accurately fill out multiple federal forms. Legal department representatives, both lawyers and paralegals, along with Latinoforce volunteers and LSC members, were there to guide the clients through the process. Ultimately, each client was able to leave the clinic with completed copies of their renewal forms.

Legal clinicThe Salesforce legal teams and their partners thoroughly enjoyed another successful clinic. Norene Lew, corporate counsel, summarized the impact with her reflection about the day: “We helped a young student who was supporting herself and pursuing her goal of obtaining a degree in Business Administration. She wanted to be the first in her family to graduate from a four-year university, and DACA status gave her the opportunity to do this.”

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