In my column This week's Consulta Migratoria® answers the question of an undocumented immigrant who was recently released from an immigration detention center.
Each case is different and the answers vary depending on the immigration history of each person. Here I provide general answers to your questions. Please consult with an immigration attorney to receive personalized legal advice before beginning any process.
This is the column:
I came to the United States when I was 15 years old. Last June I was detained by immigration and on the third day I was released. I was only told to go to a lawyer when I got out of detention. I have three children ages 15, 13 and 10. What should I do? -Yasmin S.
Yasmin, you should follow the advice of the immigration officer and consult with an immigration attorney as soon as possible.
The attorney will review all of the documentation you were given when you left the detention center and will investigate the status of your case in immigration court. He or she will also carefully evaluate you to determine if you have any options to remain in the country legally.
If the federal government placed you in deportation proceedings, you must attend all appointments assigned to you in immigration court. If you do not, the court may order you deported in your absence.
You may be eligible for the original Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program because you came to the United States when you were 15 years old. You need to see if you meet all the requirements for DACA or any other immigration benefit.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services continues to accept initial DACA registrations from individuals who meet the following requirements:
Have arrived in the United States before the age of 16.
2. Not to have been older than 30 years of age on June 15, 2012.
3. Have lived continuously in the United States for at least 5 years prior to June 15, 2012 and currently present in the country.
4. You entered without inspection before June 15, 2012 or your legal immigration status expired on June 15, 2012.
5. Be a high school graduate or in high school, including GED, or be a veteran of the armed forces.
6. Not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
7. Not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or multiple felonies.
Since you have U.S.-born children, you may also qualify for the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program if the program goes into effect in the future.
Please consult with an immigration attorney before beginning any immigration proceedings.
For more information and immigration tips, read my blog InmigracionHoy.com.
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include detailed information about your situation to better answer your questions.
Nelson A. Castillo, Esq. is an immigration attorney and author of La Tarjeta Verde: Cómo Obtener la Residencia Permanente en los Estados Unidos (Green Card: How to Obtain Permanent Residence in the United States) and presenter of immigration television segments of The Lawyer at Your Side in NY1 News. He is a past President of the Hispanic National Bar Association and current President of the Westlake South Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. For information on how to contact Dr. Castillo, please click here. click here.
The purpose of this column is to provide general information. There can be no guarantee or prediction as to what will be the outcome of the information presented by Dr. Nelson A. Castillo. The information should not be taken as legal advice for any individual, case or situation. This column may be considered an advertisement under the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys in several states, including California and New York. Consult with an immigration attorney for personalized legal advice before beginning any immigration proceedings.