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Kentucky Bar Foundation Helps KEJC Make the Dream of Citizenship a Reality


Photo by K E on Unsplash


The Kentucky Bar Foundation (KBF) is one of the many valued partners who make our advocacy possible. In 2023, KBF awarded Kentucky Equal Justice Center (KEJC) $10,000 to offer legal assistance at Maxwell Street Legal Clinic to young adults with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status and Kentuckians ready to take the final step toward citizenship.


As multiple lawsuits challenging the legality of the DACA program move through the courts, many DACA recipients are left in limbo. With KBF’s support, Maxwell Street is helping DACA clients plan for their futures by screening them for better-suited protections and working with them on applications for DACA Advance Parole (AP). 


DACA Advance Parole is a crucial opportunity under the law because it allows qualified DACA candidates to travel outside the US and gain lawful entry upon their return. Later, their entry can become an important ingredient in a family-based petition for permanent residence, offering new security should the DACA program be canceled. “Maxwell Street has filed hundreds of DACA applications and renewals over the years, so when KBF announced our award, we followed up with as many clients as possible to recommend they pursue AP,” says Interim Program Director Abigail Rundell. 


Citizenship has been another important component of our KBF-funded project. Maxwell Street has recruited more than fifteen volunteer attorneys from across the nation to help Central Kentucky immigrants take their final step toward citizenship. Thanks to this project, Maxwell Street has helped 22 DACA recipients move from uncertainty toward security, with two of these clients’ applications having been already approved. Additionally, 52 Maxwell Street clients have submitted citizenship applications and nine have already become U.S. citizens!


"We are incredibly grateful for Kentucky Bar Foundation's support. Thanks to their partnership, we're able to help clients who otherwise wouldn't get the legal help they need," says Rundell. Our work is possible because of partners like KBF. You can show up for low-income immigrants, too, by making a gift today! 


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