Blessed by Arrabally: DACA and TPS Recipients Who Entered the Country Illegally May Be Eligible for Green Cards
For those who entered without inspection and were later granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or now qualify for TPS, you may be able adjust your status by means of applying for advance parole. Also, Dreamers who qualified for, and received deferred action” under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, you may also apply for advance parole.
Specifically, for those TPS or deferred action (DACA) recipients who previously entered the U.S. without inspection and are immediate relatives (child or spouse) of U.S. citizens may benefit greatly by applying for and using Advance Parole. Advance parole allows you to exit and re-enter the United States with your advance parole document. The Board of Immigration Appeals in a recent case, Matter of Arrabally and Yerrabelly, 25 I&N Dec. 771 (BIA 2012), held that “[a] departure under advance parole does not trigger the inadmissibility ground under 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II).” Therefore, leaving the United States under advance parole does not trigger inadmissibility and you will be able to re-enter, this time with inspection.
Consequently, without the ground of inadmissibility being triggered under Arrabally, such recipients will now become eligible for adjustment of status (“green card”) because they will have been “paroled” into the United States within the meaning of INA §245(a). So for those DACA and TPS recipients who are married to a U.S citizen, or qualify as children of U.S. citizens, travel on advance parole may have the dual benefits of eliminating exposure to the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility and creating eligibility to adjust status in the United States. For more information on this topic, feel free to go here.
I have had much success in getting clients their green cards as a result of having traveled outside the U.S. and returning with the use of Advance Parole. If you feel you may benefit from such process, please consult with experienced immigration attorney, as not all cases are the same. Prior departures and entries may still effect your eligibility to file for adjustment of status. This must be discussed with an attorney. Immigration law is a complex topic that is constantly evolving. Moreover, it is important that the advice you receive is up to date.
According to a Times article published yesterday, July 24, 2014, President Obama may be preparing to provide temporary legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants. Obama has already voiced his intention to use his executive authority to reform parts of a broken immigration system that has cleaved families and hobbled the economy. The article further discusses various options that the President may execute under his authority to provide relief to millions of undocumented immigrants. It's a great read!
As a former Boy Scout, I encourage all undocumented immigrants to follow the scout motto - BE PREPARED. The motto reads that one should be prepared in body and mind. To accomplish this, I recommend getting organized by gathering and making copies of relevant documents including the following:
1. Physical presence documents (ie. tax returns, pay stubs, contracts, bill statements, etc)
2. Criminal history documents (ie. certified copies of criminal court dispositions) for any and all violations
3. Copy of birth certificate
4. Copy of prior immigration filing
Additionally, in this tough economic climate, I cannot emphasize how important it will be that you save money for such process. There is no saying how much government fees will cost. Additionally, if you have any prior criminal or immigration history, you may incur legal fees in having an attorney assist you with such process.
IMPORTANT: if you have made contact with the police or an agency under the Department of Homeland Security (ie. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, or Customs and Border Protection), I recommend you consult with an immigration attorney before proceeding with any future immigration filing. Such "contact" includes previous immigration filings, detentions, removals, voluntary returns, and/or questioning at the port of entry. An experienced immigration attorney will assist in verifying whether such "contact" will disqualify you of certain immigration benefits through various actions including a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to distinct agencies and their systems, US-VISIT fingerprint submission, and FBI fingerprint submissions.
Contact the Law Office of Mario Zapata if you would like to discuss your situation, or would like to verify what, if any, consequences there may be as a result of your prior "contact" with enforcement agencies.
PARENTS, SPOUSES AND CHILDREN OF CURRENT & FORMER MILITARY (Including RESERVES) MAY NOW BE ELIGIBLE FOR GREEN CARD (even if you entered “without inspection”)
Implementation of Parole-in-Place Benefits Parents, Spouses, & Children of Military Members
I strongly recommend each reader to share this with any active or veteran military member (or reservist), as it could benefit their immediate family or that of a military brethren.
On November 15, 2013, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS) issued a Policy Memorandum concerning “parole in place” (PIP) for people who entered the US without inspection and are the spouse, child, and/or parent of those who are on active duty, reservists, or veterans (Armed Forces personnel). See Policy Memo here.
PIP is a substitute for “legal admission.” You get PIP to show you are “paroled in place” without leaving the U.S. In the past, these family members were unable to apply for adjustment of status ("green card") in the US, and instead had to go back to their home country for immigrant visa processing, and could face a 10 year bar from returning to the US, or possibly apply for a “provisional waiver” as a result of having accrued "unlawful presence in the U.S. This Policy Memorandum regarding PIP is simply a change in the guidelines to USCIS adjudicators. Nevertheless, it is very clear guidance to approve these requests, so this is a GREAT VICTORY for our service members, both active and retired, and their families, as there is added hope of resolving their immigration status without the peril of leaving the country for a prolonged period.
Again, this means that with PIP, a spouse, child, or parent of current or retired military, Reserves, or National Guard can get a Green Card WITHOUT leaving the US.
USCIS recognizes that active duty Armed Forces personnel “face stress and anxiety because of the immigration status of their family members in the United States.” Further, their military preparedness could be affected if they have to “worry about the immigration status of their spouses, parents and children.” The same holds true for our military veterans who have made sacrifices for our country.
The basic requirements for eligibility are:
If parole in place applies to you, you may be able to file for adjustment of status (green card in America) even though you previously entered without inspection (ie. illegally), or have no proof of inspection. The process of seeking PIP differs at each USCIS office. For more information please go here, or contact our office at (714) 441-2800.
Mario Zapata is an immigration attorney practicing out of Orange County, CA and represents clients nationwide.