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“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

While our immigration system has evolved over the decades, Americans have remained committed to common sense policies that keep our families together and live up to our rich immigrant heritage.

There are many programs and opportunities for individuals seeking legal pathways to live and work in the United States, and different eligibility requirements and criteria exist for each program.

Which Program Is Right For You?

While you should always consult a lawyer before pursuing any application process, you can use the tool below to learn more about the potential program opportunities available to undocumented residents in the United States.

This tool is a guideline and should be used for reference purposes only. It is always advisable to consult an immigration lawyer or DOJ accredited representative about your case. Every individual is different, and your case may include circumstances that provide a different pathway for you.

Immi helps immigrants understand their legal options and know their rights. Click below to start a free and anonymous screening interview.

 

 

This tool is for reference purposes only and does not store information.

What is happening with DACA?

The DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was established in 2012 to provide a legal pathway to stay and work in the United States for people who arrived in the U.S. as children and met certain other requirements. In September, 2017, the Trump administration indicated it would terminate the DACA program.

On November 12th, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard oral arguments on three consolidated Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) cases. The hearing came after the Department of Justice (DOJ) requested to fast-track the three cases that were pending at the lower federal courts (New York, Washington, D.C., and California) in order for them to be heard at the Supreme Court level.

For more information:

  • Read USCIS’ guidelines here
  • Get answers to Frequently Asked Questions here
  • For additional DACA policy updates, family preparedness, or to find legal help in Spanish and a few additional languages find the link here

We are currently waiting on a decision for DACA any day.

Since SCOTUS has heard oral arguments, we are expecting a decision any time between now and June of 2020. A decision could potentially end DACA renewals. We don’t know when exactly the Court will announce its decision or what that decision will be, but what we do know for certain is that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is still accepting DACA renewals.

Due to the uncertainty of the SCOTUS decision and its impact on current DACA renewal requests, we encourage DACA recipients to stay informed, consider speaking with an immigration attorney or DOJ-accredited representative, and consider submitting your renewal application very soon, especially if your DACA expires in 2020. (informedimmigrant.com)

To learn more about what to consider when deciding to renew, read “Know Your Power. Consider Renewing Your DACA Today,” prepared by the National Immigration Law Center (NILC). In deciding when to renew, we recommend that you consider NILC’s “Frequently Asked Questions: USCIS is Accepting DACA Renewal Applications.”

With this said we have three possible scenarios with a SCOTUS decision presented here

Resources

RESOURCES:

Informed Immigrant is an online platform that aims to be a one stop shop for the immigrant community to find resources to stay informed and better protected. On the site you can find policy updates like on DACA, Know Your Rights, Family Preparedness, and where to find legal help. The site is also available in Spanish and a few additional languages for specific resources. Connect Here

Mental Health Services

Free and Reduced Cost Mental Health Resources

  • Esperanza Wellness Center – Liliana Luna| Couples and Family Counselor
  • Email and Phone: (503) 547-4560| lluna@esperanzawellness.org

Article: Mental Health in the Post-DACA Era: Building Strength in Undocumeted Latinxs, DACA Recipients, and Those Who Love Them: https://unitedwedream.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/F_NLPA-UWD-Mental-Health-Resources.pdf

Mental Health Resources PDF

Educational Resources

  • Undocumented and DACA students are able to receive in-state tuition and state financial aid. 
  • Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1563 that makes it possible for eligible students without documentation attending Oregon colleges and universities to continue to qualify for in-state tuition, with or without a federal DACA program. Website Source: https://www.oregon.gov/newsroom/Pages/NewsDetail.aspx?newsid=2697
  • A Guide for Educators and School Support Staff 

Employment Resources

  • Identify concrete ways employers can support their DACA/ TPS impacted employees, interns, and contractors in a time of uncertainty. 
  • Who Can Apply for Unemployment Benefits in Oregon?
    • Anyone who can legally work in the United States can apply for unemployment benefits in Oregon. That included: citizens, permanent residents, asylees, DACA,TPS, and U Visa Recipients, NACARA applicants, and many more. If you find yourself needing financial support due to loss of job, please apply for benefits you qualify for.  
    • If you’re concerned about public charge implications: 
      • Unemployment insurance is not considered a public charge benefit
      • Public Charge does not affect every immigrant 
      • Contact your attorney for advice.
      • If you do not have an attorney and need legal assistance please contact the Oregon Law Center at 1-800-520-5292.
      • You can also find more information Public Charge ENG

COVID-19

USCIS Update Regarding COVID-19

There is a lot of confusion about how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic might affect immigration policy. As of March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has suspended all biometrics appointments until May 4th. If you are a DACA recipient, your renewal application may be affected by this change. The best way to calm fears is to remain informed, read our guidance on what this may mean for your DACA renewal application, click here.

COVID-19 Resources

Remember to follow the CDC recommendations in regards to COVID-19:

Everyone Should

Illustration: washing hands with soap and water

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Illustration: Woman quarantined to her home

Avoid close contact

    • Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
Person with cloth face covering

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

More details: Cloth Face Covers

woman covering their mouth when coughing

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
cleaning a counter

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectantexternal icon will work.

 

Know Your Rights

Everyone in the U.S. has certain rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution, regardless of your immigration status. You can’t always control whether you will come in contact with immigration or law enforcement. It is important to know and practice these scenarios so that you and your friends, family, and colleagues are prepared for any situation. Understanding what your fundamental rights are and how to use them will help you advocate for yourself and respond appropriately if you encounter the police or immigration enforcement. (informedimmigrant.com)

Connect to the informed immigrant page for red cards, family preparedness plans, and as a resources to find trusted immigration attorneys here

Protect your family

Information for Crisis Plan | Información para Preparar un Plan de Crisis:

How to Fund Your Renewal

When considering to apply for your renewal, the $495 fee can be a barrier to following through with it.  Below are the recommendations provided by the Home is Here campaign as well as Informed Immigrant:

Find help locally

Personal Fundraising

  • Start a personal fundraising page on GoFundMe, which launched an effort to help DACA recipients crowd fund for renewal fees.
  • Send letters and emails to select friends or family members. Template here.
  • Instead of gifts for your birthday, ask for money to help you pay for the renewal request.

Institutional help

  • Talk to your employer and ask if they can cover the cost of your renewal fee to minimize the risk that your employment would be disrupted while awaiting a decision on your DACA and work permit renewal.
  • If you are a member of a faith group, reach out to your house of worship; they may be willing to help.
  • If you are a college or university student contact your Diversity & Inclusion, Dream Center, or financial aid office for emergency assistance programs.
  • Apply to the Voto Latino pro bono project with King & Spalding LLP UndocuNeighbor initiative.
  • Apply to the United We Dream DACA renewal fund.

For a step by step guide on how to renew DACA connect here

 

How Can You Be of Support

 

TAKE ACTION

 

SCOTUS DACA Decision will come back at any point now:

  • Our message continues to be that the Supreme Court should delay its decision because of Coronavirus
  • Use this toolkit to tell SCOTUS to delay the DACA decision.
  • SHOW or CONTINUE to show your support for DACA and TPS recipients. 
  • Get ICE and CBP out of our communities & sign onto our Home is Here pledge. https://unitedwedream.org/scotus-no-daca-decision-during-covid-19-pandemic/
  • Work to provide free Covid19 testing, treatment and services for all, regardless of immigration status.
  • Send a letter or demand Supreme Court justices to delay ruling on the daca until COVID-19 crisis get solved. HOLD THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS.
  • Advocate for the approximately  700,000 undocumented Oregonians who enrich our economy and culture!

Who's Eligible?

You might be eligible to apply for Citizenship if you:

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Have been a Lawful Permanent Resident for at least the last five years (or three years if married to a U.S. Citizen)
  • Have been physically present in the United States for at least a total of two years and six months during the past five years (or one year and six months if married to a U.S. Citizen)
  • Have not been outside the United States for more than one year at a time
  • Can speak, read and write conversational English (with exceptions)
  • Are able to pass a U.S. Civics and History exam (with exceptions)
  • Are a person of “good moral character”
  • Are willing to take an oath of loyalty to the United States.

USCIS created a US Citizenship eligibility worksheet to help individuals work through whether they are eligible to apply for US. Citizenship. Please click here to download the worksheet.

How to Prepare

Before applying for US Citizenship, you should take some time to ensure that applying for citizenship is the right process for you:

1. Check that you meet the eligibility criteria. Review eligibility criteria (see above) and meet with an immigration lawyer or BIA accredited representative

2. Review possible legal problems. If you answer “yes” to any of the situations in the box below, talk to a legal professional before you apply. An immigration lawyer or BIA-accredited representative can help you learn if you are prevented from applying or if the situation can be corrected.

Visit our “Legal Help” page to find legal services in your area.

  • You left the United States for six months or more.
  • You moved to another country after you became a permanent resident.
  • You spent time in jail.
  • You had family problems and were charged with domestic violence, spouse abuse, child abuse, or child neglect.
  • You are on probation or parole for a criminal conviction.
  • You are now in deportation proceedings or have been ordered deported in the past.
  • You helped someone enter the United States illegally, including relatives.
  • You lied to get a green card for yourself or someone else.
  • You lied or didn’t tell the truth to receive public benefits.
  • You said you were a United States citizen, but were not.
  • You were involved in prostitution.
  • You have not filed your federal income taxes every year that you worked in the United States and you earned enough money to file.
  • You have not paid court ordered child support or have not provided support to your children living outside the United States.
  • You are an alcoholic or were arrested for drunk driving or being drunk in public.
  • You are male and did not register for the Selective Service between the ages of 18 and 26 if you lived in the United States at the time.
  • You have had more than one spouse/marriage at the same time in the United States.
  • You have been involved in illegal gambling.
  • You were convicted of selling or possessing drugs.

3. Review testing challenges. As part of the application process, you will need to know enough English language to conduct elements of the process. You will also need to have an understanding of basic U.S. history and government. There are online resources and classes offered to help you prepare for this part of the application process.

How to Apply

There are free citizenship clinics to help you fill out your N-400 forms. Call 503-409-2473 to learn about upcoming dates and sign up.

You can also receive one-on-one assistance with filing for US Citizenship. Contact an immigration lawyer or a BIA accredited representative to help you with this process.

 

NOTE: While it is not required that a legal professional assist you with your application for citizenship, most people find it extremely important and helpful. Do not take advice or counsel from public notaries. Only lawyers or BIA-accredited representatives can provide legal advice on this application process.

These humanitarian programs through USCIS provide protections to individuals fleeing persecution; survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and certain other crimes; and immigrants from countries encountering crisis.  Visit USCIS for additional information.

The information below is not an exhaustive list and an immigration lawyer or BIA accredited representative is the best person to determine which benefit(s) someone qualifies for. Visit our legal help page to find legal services in your area.

Asylum

What is asylum? Asylum is a protection for people who fear they will be harmed if they return to their country.

Who is eligible? If you are afraid to go back to your country because someone may harm you upon your return, or because they have harmed you or your family in the past due to your religious beliefs, your race, your political activities, or your membership in a certain group, consult an attorney about asylum.

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)

What is SIJS? SIJS is a humanitarian visa for minors whose parents have died, abandoned them, abused or mistreated them.

Who is eligible? If either or both of your parents has died or has abandoned you, mistreated or abused you, or allowed another person to abuse you, consult an attorney about Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.

The T Visa

What is the T visa? The T visa is a humanitarian visa for individuals who have suffered human trafficking within the borders of the U.S.

Who is eligible? If someone made you come to the United States by force, or if you came to this country and once being here, were forced by someone to do things you didn’t want to do, you may qualify for the protection of the T visa. If someone made you work without compensation, locked you up without letting you leave, and/or stole your identity documents, consult an attorney about the T visa.

Find more resources at the Oregon Department of Justice’s Immigrant Crime Victims information page

The U Visa

What is the U visa? The U visa is a humanitarian visa for individuals who have been the victims of certain crimes within the U.S. 

Who is eligible? If you or a family member has been the victim of a crime in the U.S.–including Domestic Violence, assault, sexual abuse, among others — and the crime was reported to the police, consult an attorney about the U visa.

Find more resources at the Oregon Department of Justice’s Immigrant Crime Victims information page

Watch the video: What is a U visa? (English/Spanish)

VAWA

What is VAWA? VAWA benefits protect individuals who have suffered domestic violence at the hands of certain family members with permanent resident status or citizenship. 

Who is eligible? If you or a family member has been the victim of domestic violence perpetrated by a spouse, parent, or while who is a citizen or has a green card, you may be eligible for certain benefits based on the Violence Against Women Act. Consult an attorney to learn more about VAWA.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

What is TPS? TPS provides work authorization and temporary permission to remain in the U.S. to individuals from certain countries that have suffered major natural or humanitarian disasters.

Who is eligible? If you came to the U.S. from a country currently designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) before a given date, you may be eligible to apply for TPS. Consult an attorney and visit USCIS for more information.

The information below is not an exhaustive list and an immigration lawyer or BIA accredited representative is the best person to determine which benefit(s) someone qualifies for. Visit our legal help page to find legal services in your area.

Family Petition

What is a Family Petition? People with legal status in the U.S. may petition for certain relatives, setting them on a path to potentially obtain legal status.

Who is eligible? If you are the spouse, parent, sibling, son, or daughter of a U.S. Citizen, or if you are the spouse or child of a permanent resident, consult an attorney to learn more about Family Petitions.

 

  • “Now that I know I have [DACA], it makes me feel extremely happy to know that I have a higher chance to move in a job or finish my education... I encourage others to apply for DACA. If I can do it, you can do it. Don’t be afraid.”

    - Juanita Aniceto

  • “With DACA, I don’t have to worry about deportation. I work legally, I can file my taxes. I can step out of what they call the shadows. I can have an identity.”

    .

    - Sara Ramirez

  • “I have more dignity. Even as simple as the fact that I’m able to drive legally with a driver’s license is huge; it’s like you have this tool to get your basic necessities. DACA really changed my life.”

    - Miriam Corona

  • “I think more than anything, more than just the physical aspect of the ID…just to know that you are part of this country. You are out in the light without feeling iffy about things. That’s the greatest thing.”

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    - Aldo Solano