“Dream Act Revived?”

There has been much talk and also confusion recently concerning the Dream Act. I want to take a few moments to explain what is going on. On June 15, 2012, while I was at the American Immigration Lawyers Association conference in Nashville, TN, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano signed a Memorandum directing all immigration officials to temporarily close the deportation cases of those who meet certain criteria. The criteria is very similar to the criteria used in the “Dream Act” that was introduced in Congress but never passed.

The criteria includes:

  1. Having entered the Untied States (whether legally or not) before the age of sixteen;
  2. Having been physically present in the United States (brief absences are allowed) for at least five years including June 15, 2012;
  3. Being enrolled in school, or having a high school or GED certificate, or being an honorably discharged veteran from the armed forces or coast guard
  4. Being thirty years of age or under on June 15, 2012

Things which disqualify the applicant include:

  1. Felony conviction
  2. Significant misdemeanor conviction
  3. Multiple misdemeanor convictions
  4. Posing a threat to national security or public safety

For those individuals in removal proceedings who have the qualifying criteria, DHS is supposed to initiate background checks to make sure that they are not disqualified. If you know someone who meets the above criteria and is about to be removed, you should contact these numbers:

  • Law Enforcement Support Center’s hotline at 1-855-448-6903 (staffed 24 hours a day, 7
  • Days a week) or
  • ICE Office of the Public Advocate at 1-888-351-4024 (staffed 9am –5pm, Monday –Friday) or
  • ICE Office of the Public Advocate e-mail at EROPublicAdvocate@ice.dhs.gov.

If you know individuals who meet the above criteria and were wrongfully placed in removal proceedings on or after June 15, 2012, you are advised to contact these numbers:

  • Law Enforcement Support Center’s hotline at 1-855-448-6903 (staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or
  • ICE Office of the Public Advocate at 1-888-351-4024 (staffed 9am –5pm, Monday –Friday) or
  • ICE Office of the Public Advocate e-mail at EROPublicAdvocate@ice.dhs.gov.

If you meet the above criteria and are not in removal proceedings,you should wait until formal procedures are established to apply, and consult with an attorney or a non profit agency in order to advise you of the risks involved.

Those who receive this benefit are eligible to apply for work authorization if they can show an economic need. This authorization would last two years and may be renewable.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an information meeting, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Moises L. Barraza
Immigration Attorney

Be Sociable, Share!

About admin

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!