Parole in Place - Solider reunited with son against blue sky

Parole in Place

Parole in Place

Are you serving in the U.S. Military and have undocumented family members living in the U.S.?  Parole in Place might be the perfect solution.

Your military service allows for your qualifying undocumented family members who are in the U.S. to remain and be eligible for certain benefits.  Granted on a case-by-case basis, Parole in Place can help those family members who are eligible obtain employment authorization, adjustment of status, and more.

Who qualifies for Parole in Place?

Any spouse, parent or child of a current or former active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces or Selected Reserve of the U.S. Ready Reserve can change their immigration status by applying for Parole in Place and obtaining legal permanent residency (i.e., Green Card).  Only spouses, children and parents of active duty (or those who have previously served) U.S. citizens can qualify for the program, so that they can live and work in the U.S.  The service member can be alive or deceased, and family members still qualify as long the veteran received an honorable discharge.

Parole in Place grants are discretionary and reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security.

While an applicant for Parole in Place doesn’t have to show that they are subject to the grounds of inadmissibility (because of issues like criminal conduct, prior immigration violations, or other blemishes on someone’s record), these could affect the decision to be granted Parole in Place status.

What are the steps for receiving a Parole in Place grant?

First, make sure you speak with an experienced immigration attorney to make sure your family members are eligible.  An attorney can help you navigate all the paperwork and filing needed to be granted Parole in Place status.

Your attorney can assist your family members in completing forms such as the I-131 Application for Travel Document, which must be submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  They will also need to submit copies (never the originals) of documents that provide evidence of your family relationship and proof that you are, or were, active-duty U.S. Military personnel.  Evidence of familial connections can be established through the following documents:

  • Marriage Certificate;
  • Son or daughter’s birth certificate; or
  • Proof of enrollment in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).

Proof of your military service can be established through a photocopy of the front and back of your military I.D. card or Defense Department Form 214.

Your family member will also need to provide two identical, color passport-style photographs, and any other evidence of additional favorable factors you would like the USCIS to take into consideration—such as good community standing, providing a valuable service, or other factors that will reflect on the applicant positively.

At Diaz Shafer, P.A., we offer expert assistance with any legal matter involving immigration, including immigration services for individuals, businesses, military personnel, and deportation defense.  We are experienced, multi-lingual, and proven in the courtroom. To learn more, visit www.diazshafer.com.

Photo of a hand turning a door knob.

What To Do If You’re Undocumented And ICE Is At Your Home Or Workplace

What To Do If You’re Undocumented And ICE Is At Your Home Or Workplace.

The first and most important step is to remain calm and know your rights.  If an ICE officer knocks on your door, do not open it.  First, ask them to identify themselves by asking what agency they are with.  Even if they say they are with the Department of Homeland Security or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, you still have the right to proceed as follows:

  1. Ask to see a warrant and have them slip it under the door. If they do not have a warrant, do not open the door or answer any questions. If they produce a warrant it MUST contain your correct name and address and a signature of the judge who issued the warrant.  Chances are, the warrant will be in English, so if you have trouble reading it have someone in your household help, or snap a picture of it with your phone and send it to a bilingual friend or relative.  If for any reason the warrant doesn’t look valid (your name is misspelled, wrong first name, wrong address, etc.), slide it back under the door and tell them it is incorrect.  If the warrant looks correct, make sure it was issued by a court.
  2. If the warrant is valid, you must let the officer enter. However, in most cases, a warrant for your arrest does not entail a search of your home.  If all looks valid, step outside to discuss it with the officer.  This is especially important if you live with others who might have immigration concerns.  Remember, if the officer asks if he or she can come in and you say “yes”, that gives the officer legal consent to enter your home or place of work.
  3. Once outside with the officer, do not answer any questions and do not sign any papers. Tell the officer you want to talk with an attorney before speaking any further. Do not show any papers that identify the country of your origin.
  4. The same applies if officers enter your workplace. You have the right to keep silent and seek the guidance of an attorney before you answer any questions.  You have the right to withhold where you came from or show any papers related to your country of origin, even if at work.  Keep reiterating that you wish to speak with an attorney.
  5. Document everything. You have the right to take pictures, record conversations, and take note of the officers’ license plates and badge numbers.  All this can be done using your smart phone.  Don’t let fear freeze you from documenting what’s happening around you.  It could be invaluable should you be required to appear in court.
  6. Check your status to see if you are eligible for Parole in Place. Parole in place is designed to protect foreign nationals who are spouses, widows, widowers, parents, sons or daughters of active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces, in the Selected Reserve of the U.S. Ready Reserve or a military veteran who served in the Selected Reserve (even if deceased).  To prove you are eligible, you must submit Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, and submit it to your local United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office.  If granted, you will need to show any ICE officer who is legally authorized to see it a copy of the approval.  Never turn over the original.
  7. Know who to call for legal advice. Have an immigrations attorney’s name and number on you at all times that you can call should you ever find yourself in this situation.

At Diaz Shafer, P.A.,  we offer expert assistance with any legal matter involving immigration, including immigration services for individuals, businesses, military personnel, and deportation defense.  We are experienced, multi-lingual, and proven in the courtroom. To learn more, visit www.diazshafer.com.

 

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The Time To Renew Your DACA Application Is Now

The Time To Renew Your DACA Application Is Now

For the last seven years, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been extremely successful, resulting in 700,000 DACA recipients, according to the National Immigration Law Center.

But, on September 5, 2017, the current administration announced that it was ending DACA, resulting in the launch of several lawsuits against the administration claiming that DACA was ended unlawfully.  The lower courts agreed and on November 12 the case went before the Supreme Court, where it is still under review.  A decision by the highest court in the land is expected by June of 2020.

So where does that leave DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, like you or someone you know?  Currently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to accept applications from those who previously had or currently have DACA.  While the fate of DACA remains uncertain for now, DACA recipients are being encouraged to consult with an immigration attorney as soon as possible to submit renewal applications.  Remember, USCIS is not accepting new applications—only renewals.

Who can renew?

You can apply for DACA renewal if you:

  • were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • did not depart the U.S. on or after August 15, 2012, without advanced parole;
  • have continuously resided in the U.S. since submitting your most recent approved DACA request; and
  • have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor (or three or more misdemeanors), and you do not pose any type of threat to national security or public safety.

When can you renew?

The USCIS requires about 120 days to process DACA renewal requests.  After such time, it is recommended that you follow up with USCIS to check on the status of your renewal.

How do you renew?

You must use the most current version of Form I-821D or USCIS will reject your application.  You can find that form here https://www.uscis.gov/i-821d.

The best choice?  Seek assistance.

The immigration lawyers at Diaz Shafer, P.A., are well versed in the many nuances of the laws surrounding DACA and can help you through the renewal journey.  A complete renewal application completed without error is the fastest way to achieve DACA status, and we can help.  We are experienced, multi-lingual, and proven in the courtroom.  To learn more, visit www.diazshafer.com.