What to do now?
PROTECT YOURSELF. PREPARE YOURSELF. INFORM YOURSELF. ORGANIZE YOUSELF.
Updated: June 22, 2012
The first thing you should know about President Obama’s recent announcement is that this IS NOT a legislative reform (like the DREAM Act), but rather a change to existing immigration policy based on the administration’s previously-stated goal to minimize the deportations of individuals who deserve prosecutorial discretion. The benefit for which individuals can apply is called “deferred action status,” and it carries certain benefits, such as a work permit, but it is not a pathway to citizenship. Although it is a start in the right direction, we still need to be our own best advocates and continue to fight for the passage of the DREAM Act.
You may be eligible for deferred action status if you meet the following requirements:
1. You are 30 years old or under as of June 15, 2012.
2. You entered the United States before you turned 16 years of age.
3. You have lived in the United States continuously for at least 5 years, since June 15, 2007.
4. At the time you apply, you have graduated from high school, have a GED equivalent, or are enrolled in school OR you received an honorary discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard.
5. You have not been convicted of a felony, serious misdemeanor (including a DUI) or multiple minor misdemeanors
1. Don’t let yourself be fooled, because there is currently no process available for applying. Any person who can promise you a form or application, or can tell you they know the cost for applying is most likely trying to defraud you.
2. If you think someone is trying to defraud you, stop working with them immediately.
3. Do not present yourself to ICE, CBP, or the Border Patrol. The application will be done through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and USCIS will let the implementation date, as well as specific application process and documentary requirements, be known.
4. Do not send documents or requests to the government. USCIS is not accepting requests or applications at this time.
5. Do not turn yourself into any immigration authority to try to qualify for this application.
Prepare your documents.
1. Evidence showing how long you have been in the U.S., such as school records, vaccination records, doctor’s charts, report cards, etc., to establish date of and age at entry.
2. Evidence of the highest level of education you have achieved in the U.S., such as high school diploma or proof of passing the GED, transcripts or diplomas from any post-high school education completed
3. Evidence showing you have lived in the U.S. continuously from June 2007 – present, including rent receipts, bank statements, bills, pay-stubs, etc.
4. Any criminal records (even if minor crime, such as a misdemeanor)
DREAMers should absolutely seek counsel from a qualified immigration attorney before applying (once the application period opens in August 2012), if any of the following factors apply to you:
1. Criminal record of any kind. Try to obtain as much documentation as you can about your arrest and the outcome of the arrest and bring to appointment with the attorney.
2. You are an applicant for a different type of immigration status or have another status (i.e., TPS, Family Unity, applicant for adjustment of status).
3. You are concerned that a parent has a prior removal order and/or serious criminal record and may be apprehended if you list the whereabouts of your parents on the application.
4. You have ever been deported or received a “voluntary departure,” “administrative voluntary return,” or “expedited removal.” In other words, if you have ever had previous contact with ICE or CBP, consult a qualified attorney before even thinking about applying for a benefit.
1. Join and participate with the nearest community organization.
2. Spread the word with your friends, at your school, at your place of work, at your place of worship and in your community.