10 Things Every Undocumented Teenager Needs to Know

This article is for the undocumented teenager.  Many people call you Dreamers, right?

If you are a youth aged 14 to 31, or the parent of a teen, please read on.

If your undocumented teenager has not yet applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), he or she should do it.

About 750,000 people have received DACA since October 2012.

As soon as your child turns 15 he or she can apply for DACA, and you should be preparing at 14 so you are ready to file.

  • DACA can be used to stop deportation, and get your child two years in the US with a renewable work visa.
  • Deferred Action can help stop deportation of the parents as well.
  • Deferred action can defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide permanent lawful status.

Please don’t let your Dreamer remain among TWO MILLION who haven’t filed for DACA

Why is an undocumented teenager referred to as a DREAMer?

A DREAMER is anyone who qualifies for deferred action – an initiative put into place in June 2012.

What is Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?

  1. DACA basically buys an undocumented teenager time to not get deported, and get work permission, driver’s license and social security card (more below). DACA is not a green card, but it is the best option for undocumented teenagers.
  2.  Your undocumented teenager can  receive a renewable 2 year work permit.
  3.  A Dreamer can then get a driver’s license and Social Security card.
  4.  And of course he or she will be protected from deportation.
  5.  PARENTS of undocumented teenagers who receive DACA are often able to get their pending deportation cases closed, with help from the best immigration lawyers.

Who qualifies for DACA?

  1.  Undocumented teenagers who entered the US before the age of 16.
  2. The teen must have been in US for 5 continuous years since June 15, 2007 or before.
  3.  He or she must be at least 15 years old to file for DACA.
  4.  The undocumented teenager (DREAMer) must have NO serious criminal history nor be affiliated with criminal organizations.
  5.  They must be high school graduates, have earned a GED, serve in the US military, or be enrolled in school or enrolled in a GED program. Other educational programs may qualify.

If your child has a current or prior deportation or removal case, he or she still may be eligible for deferred action – talk to an expert immigration lawyer!!

If you have any questions about this or any other immigration related issues, please feel free to contact me.

More information at this site too.

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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