Get Ready for Administrative Reform
At the end of June 2014, President Obama promised to take action on immigration reform
by the end of the summer. When the summer came and went, he pushed the date back to after the end of the mid-term
elections. The day after the elections, the President came out and said that he would sign an executive order by the end of 2014.
Remember: there is nothing to apply for right now! So, if anyone asks you to sign any forms or pay them money to work
on your application, they are scamming you. When the announcement comes, CIIS will conduct numerous information sessions to let you know all of the correct information. But, this is what you can do
to get ready.
- Gather all of your Important Documents
- Get your identity documents:
- original birth certificate,
- driver’s license, or
- any other identity document issued by your country of origin.
- Obtain the original versions of other official documents:
- your children’s birth certificates and/or adoption records,
- marriage and/or divorce certificates,
- criminal records,
- If you have any arrest or conviction history, you will need to obtain certified
dispositions about each instance from the police department or court involved.
- If you have ever been arrested, including by immigration authorities, you may want to have your
fingerprints taken and sent to the FBI so that you can review you record and identify any potential stumbling blocks to your legalization and how you may be able to avoid them. If
you have had interaction with immigration authorities, you should obtain a copy of your file from your attorney or file a Freedom of Information Act request with the appropriate
agency. You should seek legal advice if you have had any interactions with law enforcement (including immigration).
- Begin collecting documents of your physical presence in the U.S. as far back as possible. These
may include, but are certainly not limited to, employment records, medical records, school and day care records, financial and tax records, mortgage/rent records, church and civic organization group
participation records, etc.
- Pay Taxes and Plan your Finances
- File and pay taxes for all years you are required to do so, and make sure they accurately
reflect your income and dependents. Even if your income falls below the filing threshold for a given year, it may make sense for you to file anyway. Otherwise, keep
documentation about your lack of income for those years.
- It’s possible that the application costs associated with filing an application will be significant. For that
reason, it is important to plan your finances accordingly.
- Stay Informed and Seek Legal Advice
- It is important to stay informed about reform efforts through reputable news sources. For
example, you can check out www.undocumentedirish.com or the Illinois-based website “IL is READY” for updates,
events, and local resources. In addition, you can contact your local community based organization. You can call us on 773-282-8445.
- Seek legal advice from an attorney or an organization recognized by the Board of Immigration
Appeals. People who are not attorneys or BIA accredited representatives are not entitled to give legal advice.
- You are welcome to join us at one
of our legal walk-in clinics for a confidential consultation. There is a $30 fee for all consultations. Check
out our Facebook page or call us at 773-282-8445 for
the most up to date information on the time and place of our clinics.
Many thanks to the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee
Rights and the National Immigrant Justice Center, who have compiled several documents from which information was adapted for this article. As always, if you have any immigration related questions or concerns, please do not
hesitate to contact me at 773-282-8445 or via email at email@example.com.