Skip to main content

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 a spotlight on crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.

So here a few things to remember if you are in the United States illegally:


  1. If you entered the country illegally (e.g. by crossing the border without proper entry papers or falsified documents likes passport, visa, green card, etc.) or are out of status in the country, you have already committed a serious crime that will haunt you the rest of your life (even if you are legalized).  Don't make it worse by committing another crime.
  2. If you have committed a deportable crime while illegally in the country, you might want to consider other options like buying a one-way ticket to your native country, and leave, or trying to immigrate to another country that does not share crime data with the United States.  Yes, you maybe able to live for years or even decades without being caught because of the lack of resources to catch criminals, but if you want to live your life and get a fresh start, returning to your country is your best option.  You will not be able to legalize your status, and if caught, you will end up in jail and eventually deported.
  3. I know a lot of illegal immigrants who despite making life-threatening journeys across the border to come here, once they are here, they take their lives for granted.  They break other laws by driving while drunk or shoplifting or making too much noise in their homes.  Many lie their way to get social welfare benefits.  The worst of all is the crime of not paying taxes.  Many of them steal identities or use fake Social Security numbers not just to work (which is somewhat understandable) but to push the limits by getting credit cards or taking out car/home loans.  Working without authorization is a crime serious enough, don't complicate your life by breaking the laws even more.  I can understand why one gets bolder as one is not caught after committing a crime and keeps committing even more.
  4. Needless to say that working without proper documents is a serious crime but lying is the most serious.  So if you lie about your status (failing to disclose a piece of information is a lie as well) or give a misleading answer can complicate your case as well.  And while you could get away with doing so with a private employer, do not even try to lie your way to a job (whether a job is unpaid matters little) legally meant for citizens or legal immigrants.  You need to be out of your mind to put yourself in the spotlight by lying your way to work for the Federal Government.
  5. Many illegal immigrants are either too poor or naive or plain stupid, but don't try to act too smart.  There is a reason we have attorneys (I have noticed that some lawyers can be expensive or not pay full attention to your case or even mess up your case but they are professionals, the legal system is complicated and full of traps not meant to be navigated by amateurs).  Indeed, I have said earlier that you do not need an attorney to apply for DACA or for any other immigration benefit from DACA as long as you have a straightforward case.  If you have something that seems out of the ordinary, you must seek good legal help.  There are reports that hundreds of DREAMers who applied for DACA have been deported after they were found to be ineligible but made the task of ICE easy by providing excellent information on their whereabouts and identities.