The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
You’d probably have to be living under a rock not to have heard of the “DREAM Act”. It isn’t actually law as of the date of this post but only a proposed congressional bill to provide conditional lawful residency to the undocumented children of illegal immigrants. But it is a particularly amusing question to ask when you’re calling an immigration attorney’s office.
The answer is, “Yes, I have heard of deferred action for childhood arrivals almost every single hour of every single day since President Obama announced on June 15, 2012 that his administration would stop deporting young illegal immigrants who can show they meet certain guidelines.” It is an exciting time for many undocumented young people who came to this country with their parents and have grown up here. My supervising attorney, Helen Parsonage, has been providing constant updates for DREAMers at the D.R.E.A.M.ers Info page she created on Facebook, and has volunteered her time to speak to a number of local groups about the anticipated procedure.
If you or someone you know may qualify for deferred action, make sure you do your homework when selecting an immigration attorney. Even the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is warning people to beware of scams, especially promises from individuals who promise they can speed up the process for a large fee. It is a good sign if an immigration attorney asks to meet with you to discuss your individual circumstances before quoting a fee, because everyone’s situation is different. The American Immigration Lawyers Association published a post earlier this month at the AILA Leadership Blog, answering the question “Do DREAMers really need a lawyer?”
So our phone has been ringing off the hook since the deferred action relief was first announced, and it’s truly been a pleasure to talk to many promising and articulate young people who’ve led similar lives to my own children. They are understandably excited and eager to come out of the shadows and do many of the things my children take for granted, like getting drivers’ licenses and working legally.
The best part about being a paralegal for a civil rights firm is helping people. What do you like most about your job?
Please note I am not an attorney, do not give legal advice, and encourage anyone with questions about deferred action and/or other immigration issues to contact a reputable and skilled immigration attorney.