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Showing posts from December, 2012

Does submitting paystubs with fake Social Security number a problem for DREAMers?

Kathy writes, "I have a question regarding my boyfriend's DACA application . For the past 3 years he's been working for his aunt's company with a fake SSN .  Should he not submit any proof from work? He can submit a letter from the company, instead of submitting paycheck stubs with the fake SS# . Should he just not mention anything but provide his real income on the i-765 ws ?" DACA is a risky program for those with illegal work history:  It is a complicated and delicate situation and it is best to discuss this with your attorney because it has huge long term consequences.  Thousands of people are in the same situation and they have done what you two are thinking, have gotten approved , but is it the best legal strategy?  No one knows. Providing documentation of unauthorized employment to USCIS can become a problem in the future:  You see, when someone works illegally, uses a false Social Security number, while in the country illegally , that individual has alrea

Completed sample Form I-131 for DACA Dreamers

As I have been saying repeatedly, if you are a DREAMer approved for DACA , do not even think about leaving the United States, unless you are willing to risk not being able to reenter the country.  It is somewhat likely that you maybe denied entry into the US, detained/arrested, and/or sent back to the country whose passport you present at the United States Customs and Border Patrol checkpoint either at an airport or land crossing.  The advanced parole feature does allow international travel in exceptional cases , but for DREAMers who entered without inspection , have accumulated years of unlawful presence in the US , and/or have a criminal history , even if they are able to re-enter the country, their immigration cases can be jeopardized.  Since each cases is handled by a CBP officer individually, it is impossible to predict the outcome However, if the need to travel overseas is critical, then you can complete USCIS Form I131 as shown below.  Your best option is to complete it online

Completed sample Form SS5 Social Security number application

If you are a DREAMer approved for a work permit in the United States and issued an employment authorization card (also known as EAD or I-766 ), you are eligible to receive a Social Security number from the Social Security Administration .  This will be your number for the rest of your life and once you have this, you will report it to your employer when you complete Form I-9 , to report taxes to the IRS , to apply for credit , and whenever it is asked for by a business or government entity.  You cannot use it to work without a proper employment authorization at all times and it is illegal to let anyone else use your number with your consent. To apply for the SSN, you will need to go in person to the nearest SSA office (bring plenty of reading material while you wait and be prepared to go through security) with original documents that you have received from USCIS, specifically the EAD card, approval letters, unexpired passport and birth certificate.  In addition, bring a complete

DACA applications pending for more than 90 days

I have already discussed why DACA approvals are taking too long for some DREAMers , but some applicants are reporting excessive delays without a request for evidence (RFE) or any other problem that they are aware of.  There are reports that applications submitted in August 2012 were not approved even by the end of the year 2012.  While this comes as a shock to the applicants, just ask anyone who has ever dealt with the USCIS, consulates, and embassies, and they will tell you that not only the process of getting a visa or approval of some kind take an unusual amount of time, the lack of clarity or any explanation for the delay can cause a lot of anxiety and inconvenience. Let us assume that the reasons for additional review are due to red flags in your application.  For instance, you know that while you do meet all the requirements and have submitted a complete and accurate application , you do have problem areas like criminal history and/or have submitted affidavits instead of

Why are some employers reluctant to hire DACA approved candidates?

DREAMers who have been approved for DACA , have a v alid work permit, along with a genuine Social Security number are experiencing some hurdles in convincing potential employers that they should hire them.  Carl writes, "I have been told that since I would need a visa sponsorship in the future, they are unable to employ me.  What is going on here?  Can employers discriminate against DACA approved immigrants ?" It is important to understand that DACA does not grant any legal status in the United States and it is unclear what lies ahead for DREAMers .  If DREAM Act is not passed or Comprehensive Immigration Reform does not get through Congress or if the DACA program is declared unconstitutional (it is being challenged in courts), just like that DACA approved DREAMers are without a work permit.  Secondly, while there is a provision for overseas travel through advanced parole , the paperwork involved for the trip , the time the approval can take, and uncertainty whether the

Why are DREAMers not taking DACA seriously?

When I noticed that so few DREAMers were applying for DACA , I was disappointed because President Obama had to risk a lot of political capital to launch the deferred action for childhood arrivals program , and it was sad to see that undocumented DREAMers not take advantage of it.  While there are several reasons that might be of concern to DREAMers like what will the Government do with their information on illegal activities so far, but one theme that emerges is that these people simply do not have the money to pay the $465 application fee.  I was so concerned about the lack of funds that I gave suggestions on how they should start saving money right now for legalization under DREAM Act , but looks like there is more to the story. According to Immigration Attorney Jose Luis PeƱalosa, DREAMers are right now enjoying the holidays and spending money on gifts .  He predicts that they will probably start applying in February 2013 when they would be done with paying their holiday shopp

Worst case scenario for DACA applicants

Carlos Batara, an immigration lawyer, is quoted by PBS as saying that he is against DREAMers applying for DACA .  He says, "If you're willing to risk and assume that they (US Government) will never come back and use the information you have given them against you to bring you into removal proceedings , and if you assume -- or you assume the DREAM Act is going to pass , that's fine."  Obviously, many other competent attorneys do not seem to agree with this advice and have been telling their clients to file the paperwork for DACA , get a work permit, and have some protection against deportation for two years.  It seems, though, that some undocumented immigrants maybe heeding advice like this and not applying, because with the December 2012 statistics made available by the USCIS, a meager 368,000 people have applied so far, much less than the number expected to apply (data on illegal immigrants is always difficult to collect since most individuals will not admit to th

How can DREAMers prepare for legalization?

There is plenty of optimism that some form of comprehensive immigration reform will pass under the Obama Administration, and accordingly, DREAMers who are eligible maybe able to legalize their status in the United States .  Obviously, a lot is still unknown, but I wanted to prepare the DREAMers for what is coming next.  The reason I say that you have to start preparing right now is because so many eligible DREAMers have not applied for DACA .  There are many reasons and I do not approve of those DREAMers who are risking deportation by waiting for DREAM Act and dealing with the paperwork just once rather than also getting DACA approval now.   It seems that there is yet another reason DREAMers not applying for DACA : application fee.  Apparently, for many DREAMers it is impossible to come up with even $465.  Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights' Director of Communications Jorge-Mario Cabrera is quoted by NPR as saying that 80% of DACA eligible applicants in the State of Califor

What not to do if you are a DREAMer?

While the following tips apply to all illegal immigrants in the United States, I will focus more specifically on the so-called DREAMers.  The idea to write these tips came when I heard about an idiot from Peru called Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta.  Briefly, this is what happened.  This young man not only was in the country illegally, he also broke the law by committing a sex crime.  Despite all this, he had the nerve to lie about his immigration status and criminal record to a United States senator and Rutgers University in order to work as an unpaid intern in the US Senate office.  It doesn't end here.  The guy had the audacity to apply for DACA , and thus, provide a complete history of his life and all the evidence USCIS and ICE needed to find and deport him.  Obviously, at some point he would have been caught, and of course, never granted any immigration benefits, but his stupid actions have brought a bad name to DREAMers, pro-illegal immigration Senator Robert Menendez, and put

3 out of 4 Americans support DREAM Act

With the reelection of President Obama and increasing realization by GOP that some immigration relief must be provided to millions of illegal immigrants , a new survey of Americans by Politico has some great news for DREAMers.  74% of Americans support giving DREAMers the right to stay in the United States of American permanently if they complete college degree or serve in the US Armed Forces. Of course, this survey did not specifically discuss a pathway to citizenship and also left out issues like what happens to those DREAMers who only have high school diplomas or even worse, as we are finding out from the small number of DACA applications that a large number did not even graduate from high school .  Maybe they will be able to take advantage of comprehensive immigration reform that might be more inclusive.

Why are DREAMers not applying for DACA?

When President Barack Obama announced the DACA program , I believed the huge numbers trumpeted by immigrant advocacy groups (all the way up to 1.7 millions).  While there were valid concerns if Mitt Romney were to be elected president , when Obama was reelected , I expected that there would be a surge in applications.  To my surprise, the data shows that DREAMers are simply not applying .  I have already argued that it is much better to apply for DACA even if you are very optimistic that DREAM and/or Achieve Act will pass .  The simple rationale is that if you are deported before any amnesty is provided to DREAMers , it does not matter what happens.  Having a DACA approval will not only allow you to stay in the country, work legally , but also allow you to avail of any immigration reforms that might pass during the coming years. Well, this mystery seems to have been solved by Weber State University.  According to a survey conducted by them, the undocumented immigrants who seem to be

Next steps for DREAMers after getting valid Social Security number

Those DREAMers who get approved for DACA , and if they have applied for a work permit using a Form I-765 and I-765WS (not all DREAMers need to or will apply for or get approved for an EAD card ), will be eligible for a valid for employment Social Security number from the Social Security Administration, because under US laws, anyone who works at any job must have a valid SSN that will be used by both the employer and the employee to report the income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to file tax documents. How to apply for a SS#?  The process is relatively simple.  You will complete a simple form SS-5 and along with the required documentation (for DREAMers it is best to have a valid passport, original letters of approval for I-821D and employment authorization card ) show up at the nearest Social Security office.  Like any government office, prepare to wait so bring a book to read but overall the process is fairly streamlined.  Once the officer has checked your papers and

Submit new I-9 after using fake Social Security number

The USCIS has provided a fact sheet for employers to deal with DACA approved immigrants and the guide has instructions on how they are now allowed to work legally in the United States for the duration of the validity of their EAD card .  On page 2 of the pamphlet, there is a section which provides instructions for employers on occasions when they must ask an existing employees to complete a new Form I-9.  It clearly says that if a SSN has changed and a SS# was provided on the previous I-9 completed at the time the employee started to work. United States laws do not provide to update fake Social Security numbers with actual numbers:  Some DREAMers have been interpreting this guidance as if this is a directive from the USCIS to the employers that they should simply let those with fake, made-up, stolen Social Security numbers to simply change it to their valid numbers .  Nothing could be further from the truth.  That category is only for those extremely rare instances in which the

Why is my DACA approval taking so long?

Miranda writes, "I sent my application for DACA about three months ago and had my biometrics about two months ago.  I meet all the requirements ! So far, though, no answer.  The thing that makes me sad is seeing other people getting their EAD and Social Security cards .  I know I should be happy for them.  They deserve it as much as I do!  I have been a good student and was hoping to go to college as soon as I got approved.  I want this so bad and I cry just thinking about not being able to go to college and going back to Mexico.  I don't want to go back; this is my country, I love the USA as much as a citizen would! Please tell me how to find the courage to keep waiting ! How much longer do I have to wait ?" Why some immigration applications get delayed at the USCIS?     I am sorry to hear what you are going through but let me put some facts out for you so that you can better understand your situation.  Here are a few scenarios for DREAMers whose applications are t

How to use my new SSN if my W-2 has a fake number

Alfredo writes, "I have been approved for DACA for and have already received my work permit and SSN card .  I have filed my taxes for the last 3 years with an ITIN but now that I have a SSN I would like to know if now I can use my SSN to file my taxes instead of using the ITIN number .  I would like to add that my W-2 form will have my fake SSN ." Now that you have a valid SSN, you need to transition from your ITIN .  Remember it is illegal to use any number other than your valid SS# after you have it and you are obligated to file your taxes only under your valid number .  You will also have your taxes consolidated all under one number with the IRS after you do the paperwork for transition.  Finally, you have to stop using your fake SSN immediately (which, by the way is a serious crime in and by itself, but even more serious after you have a valid Social Security number ).  I have some instructions here on how to move away from your fraudulent Social and embrace your legal