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690 Flatbush Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06110-1308

27 Holmes Avenue, Waterbury, CT  203 756-6100

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690 Flatbush Avenue West Hartford, CT  06110-1308

860 236-9350             800 856-6400  toll free     860 523-9101  fax

27 Holmes Avenue Downtown Waterbury 203 756-6100

 

Hartford Connecticut Immigration Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals  (DACA / Dream Act) Attorney.

Qualifying for Deferred Action

Required Documentation

Benefits of Deferred Action

Renewal of Deferred Action

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("Dream Act")

    Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (abbreviated as "DACA") is a policy adopted by the Obama Administration to give certain rights to illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children.  Although people refer to this policy as the "Dream Act," deferred action is not an act or a new law.  Only Congress can make laws, which is done by passing acts.  Deferred action essentially means that the federal government under President Obama is choosing not to pursue deportation against illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. as children by establishing a formal policy that provides relief from the threat of deportation for a two-year period of time that can be renewed.

    An immigrant who is granted deferred action can work legally (obtain a work permit or employment authorization) and may be able to obtain a drivers license.  Deferred action does not make the immigrant legal, or lead to legal residency (a "green card"), or to citizenship ("naturalization").

    Deferred action is not a right.  The government may deny your application even if you meet all of the requirements that qualify you to apply for deferred action.  Applications are decided on a case by case basis.  The government does not have to explain its decision.  You cannot appeal a denial of your application.

    Because you cannot appeal, you must submit a strong and complete application at the outset.  An experienced immigration attorney will give you the best chance to take advantage of what may be a once in a lifetime chance to come out of the shadows and live an open, more worry free life in the United States. 

    The government officially has stated that if your application is denied, you will not be referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be deported, unless your case involves crimes, immigration fraud, or a threat to  public safety or the security of the United States.

    There has been an attempt in Washington to pass a new law, referred to as the "Dream Act," which would provide legal residency (green card) to people who entered the U.S. as children and are here illegally because they were smuggled crossed the border or overstayed a tourist or other type of non-immigrant visa.  While such a law has not been passed, many people who follow Congress believe that a "Dream Act" may be passed in the near future either by itself or as part of comprehensive immigration reform.

 

The government describes the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy as follows:

 

As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety, including individuals convicted of crimes with particular emphasis on violent criminals, felons, and repeat offenders, DHS will exercise prosecutorial discretion as appropriate to ensure that enforcement resources are not expended on low priority cases, such as individuals who came to the United States as children and meet other key guidelines.

 

Qualifying for Deferred Action

    If you entered the United States as a child and are now here illegally, you have to meet all of the following conditions to qualify for deferred action:

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You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.

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You were in the United States on June 15, 2012.

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You came to the United States before you turned 16.

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You are in the United States when you file for deferred action.

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You crossed the border into the United States illegally before June 15, 2012, or you entered legally but your right to be in the United States ended before June 15, 2012.

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You have been in the United States continuously from June 15, 2007, up to the present time, except for brief, casual and innocent trips abroad, such as:
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A trip to attend a funeral of a family member;

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A trip to visit a very sick relative; or

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A trip for medical care.

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You are in school, graduated from high school or have a GED, or were honorably discharged from the U.S. Coast Guard or Armed Forces.

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You have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors.
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For immigration purposes, a felony is a crime that carries a prison sentence of more than one year.

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A significant misdemeanor is a crime of domestic violence, driving under the influence (DUI), rape or other sexual abuse, burglary, having or using a firearm illegally, selling or distributing drugs distribution or trafficking, or for which 90 days or more time is actually served in prison.

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A misdemeanor is a crime that carries a sentence of one year or less but more than 5 days.

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You are not a threat to national security or public safety.

Required Documentation

    You will have to provide documents to prove that you meet the requirements for deferred action.  This list explains the documents that can be used to prove you are eligible to apply for deferred action for childhood arrivals. 

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To prove your identity:
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Your passport.

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Your national identity card.

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A school ID with your photo.

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A military ID with your photo.

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A US immigration document with your name and photo.

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To prove you were in the US on June 15, 2012, and to prove you have been in the US continuously since June 15, 2007:
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Passport stamps.

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Rent receipts.

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Utility bills.

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Cell phone records.

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Paystubs, W-2s, 1099s, and other employment records.

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School records.

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Cancelled checks and other bank records.

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Medical records.

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Court records.

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Discharge and other military records.

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Religious records.

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Driver license and motor vehicle registration records.

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Insurance records.

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To prove you came to the US before age 16:
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Passport stamps.

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Form I-94.

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Airplane tickets or receipts.

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School records.

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Medical records.

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To prove you are a student or you were a student:
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Report cards.

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Transcripts.

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SAT and other standardized test results.

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High school diploma.

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GED certificate.

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Yearbook picture.

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School team records.

    You can use notarized affidavits to help prove your continuous presence in the US or that any trips outside the US were brief, casual and innocent.  You must have affidavits from at least two other persons who have personal knowledge of your presence in the US and / or of your trips.  The affidavits cannot be the only proof but can be used to fill in gaps in your proof.

Benefits of Deferred Action

    If your application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is approved, you may be able to work legally in the United States, to obtain a Social Security card, obtain a driver's license, and pay in-state fees at public colleges.

    In order to work legally, it is necessary to show an economic need for income.  Federal immigration officials have not provided guidelines for what is necessary to prove economic need.  However, the fact that the term economic need instead of economic hardship is used suggests that the standard will be the average person's need to earn money to pay for normal living expenses, such as rent, food, utilities, and transportation.  (The term hardship would imply a more severe need for income, such as high medical bills for serious illness.)  

    Specific forms requesting employment authorization should be submitted at the same time that the request for deferred action is submitted.  The immigration service will accept documents showing economic need but is not requiring that such documents be sent.  The fact that documentation is not required is another indication that only a reasonable and typical need for income has to be shown to qualify for work authorization.  Documentation is normally required when it is necessary to show economic hardship for employment authorization.

Renewing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

    The current immigration policy provides deferred action status for two years.  To continue receiving the benefits of deferred action, it is necessary to file an application to extend the status every two years.

    Immigrants applying for renewal who are still in school must show that they are making substantial progress toward graduating.  Renewal applicants who were in school at the time of the initial application must show that they graduated, received a GED certificate or are making progress toward graduating.

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