The recent decision of the Obama administration to institute a policy of Deferred Action for many young people who came to the United States under the age of 16 and have resided continuously for at least five years sparked both hope and confusion. ILCM and Navigate co-hosted a June 30 community meeting on the Deferred Action for DREAM Act-eligible individuals. In the video above (in Spanish), ILCM Director John Keller speaks to the crowd about eligibility requirements and red flags.
Here’s the information from the ILCM web page:
On June 15, 2012 the Department of Homeland Security announced that, as an exercise of its prosecutorial discretion, “certain young people who were brought to this country as children and know only this country as home” will receive relief from the threat of deportation. This includes people who:
- Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
- Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum;
- Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety; and
- Are not above the age of thirty.
Please note that there is currently no way to apply for deferred action. Beware of anyone offering to file an application for you before official instructions are announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS will implement this policy and provide details for how to apply for deferred action within 60 days of June 15, 2012. Check our website or Facebook page for updates to this procedure.
If you believe you may be eligible for deferred action, please call ILCM at 651-641-1011 for basic screening. Once the application process is announced, ILCM will try to help as many potential applicants as possible.
If you are currently in deportation proceedings AND you believe you meet the criteria for deferred action under the new June 15, 2012 announcement, please contact ILCM for a screening today and inform the receptionist that you are a DREAMer in deportation proceedings.
ILCM cautions against seeking advice from immigration consultants that are sometimes known as “notarios.” To ensure that you are not putting yourself at risk, you should only seek legal advice from a licensed attorney, preferably an attorney specializing in immigration law. To determine if a person offering legal services is in fact licensed as an attorney in Minnesota, you can visit this website. There, you can also view whether the lawyer has been disciplined. Important: Immigration lawyers do not need to be licensed in Minnesota but must hold a license from at least one state in the U.S., so be sure to ask where your attorney is licensed and check that state’s licensure database.
What you can do for now:
While waiting for the Department of Homeland Security to implement its application process for deferred action, there is something you can do: gather documentation that may be required to evaluate whether or not you will be eligible to apply for deferred action. The Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota recommends gathering the following documentation so that you have it ready to review with our office or with another attorney:
- Your birth certificate;
- Police reports and court records for any arrests you have had;
- Documentation to prove that you have resided continuously in the United States for at least 5 years preceding the date of the announcement (June 15, 2012), and that you were present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012. Examples: school records, medical records, bills, receipts, paystubs, taxes, etc.;
- Documentation to prove that you are currently in school, have graduated from high school or have obtained your GED, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.; and
- Any documents previously issued to by the Department of Homeland Security, if you previously had any contact with immigration.