This past November, President Obama announced his plan to allow some undocumented Americans to apply for work authorization and protection from deportation. Although the program has not started and there are no an application forms yet, preparations can begin now. If you know an undocumented immigrant, they can start work on these preliminary steps (with your help, if need be):
-Saving money to pay the $465 application fee.
-Obtaining proof of identity: passport, birth certificate or government-issued ID.
-Gathering proof of relationship to a U.S. Citizen or those who have “green cards” through birth and marriage certificates as well as their passport or naturalization certificates.
-Gathering proof of how long they have been in the U.S. through school, medical or hospital records, bills or rent payment receipts, copies of money orders or bank transactions, passport with admission stamp.
-Gathering any criminal records the person may have: arrests, court dispositions, FBI criminal background checks, proof of rehabilitation.
-Getting unjust criminal convictions expunged, vacated, or modified with the help of an attorney.
-Consulting a lawyer if the person has a prior deportation or removal order if it seems too risky to apply for this program.
-Staying informed of the latest updates of the president’s executive action.
-Helping the undocumented to know their rights, especially if they are stopped by ICE or local law enforcement.
-Helping immigrants beware of notario fraud.There is no application for the program yet. Do not believe anyone who tells you that they can sign you up now for a program.
Please help spread the word through education on immigration reform. This is one way that we can contribute to the well being of undocumented immigrants living among us. Hopefully, this executive action program of President Obama will be implemented by February or March. Please pray for true immigration reform in the United States.
Daryl Charron, C.PP.S.