Asylum options for DREAMers

While DACA has provided some DREAMers with a work permit and deferral on deportation, the strict eligibility requirements left out many of them.  For instance, many of them who arrived after the cutoff date or are older than 31 or do not have a high school diploma or have a criminal history.  Since there is a high probability that Comprehensive Immigration Reform is not going become law any time soon (even if it does, it will not be comprehensive and millions will be ineligible), DREAMers now have another option: asylum in the United States.  The recent decision in the case of DREAM 9 individuals (Lizbeth Mateo, Claudia Amaro, Ceferino Santiago, Lulu Martinez, Marco Saavedra, Luis Leon, Maria Peniche, Adriana Gil Diaz, and Mario Felix) that they were allowed to seek political asylum means that the United States Government is now encouraging immigrants to seek this route if no other options are open to them to immigrate legally to the USA.

How to exploit the asylum law loopholes to become legal?

  1. Don't try this DIY.  Get the most competent attorney you can afford and make sure this lawyer knows how to deal with asylum cases.  The downside is that if your asylum petition is denied, you will be deported and a ban may be imposed on reentry into the US.  Therefore, it is absolutely critical for you to think it through based on legal advice and choose this path only if you will be fine returning your native country.
  2. Get your paperwork in order.  Remember that President Barack Obama is offering asylum even to Mexicans.  In fact all these aliens were in Mexico free and happy and there is no proof that they were tortured by the Mexican Government or that they faced any threats to their lives.  In other words, the Government is ignoring the need to prove fear of persecution.  So if you have even a remote fear of persecution, try to collect evidence.
  3. Go to Mexico (you don't have to be a citizen of Mexico to go there).  The border crossing points have one way open door to Mexico without the presence of any immigration agents and you can basically just walk in.  If it is an option, use the opportunity to meet with friends and family or even take a vacation, but you could turn right back and join the long lines to cross the border into the United States.  If you can do that in a group, even better, but you can also do it alone.
  4. Present yourself to the border agent with your paperwork and formally request an asylum.
  5. You will be immediately arrested.  Obey all orders and do what you are told (the officers are armed and authorized to shoot if you do something stupid).  Stay calm and do not talk unnecessarily.  Go to the detention center and stay out of trouble (no need to scream or protest or go on a hunger strike).
  6. The process of asylum will start and just follow it.  You will be told what to do by officers.  Use a prison pay-phone to stay in touch with your attorney and family.  Your lawyer will have already prepared you to answer all questions.
  7. Most likely, you will be released free and then you can apply for a work permit, driver's license, advanced parole (just don't travel to the country that you accused of torturing you because that will hurt your refugee case), and will be to live like any other legal immigrant for years because the cases can drag in the courts.
  8. Hope that your asylum petition will be approved and that point you will be eligible for a green card and eventually citizenship. 

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