On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced his Executive Orders on Immigration Action.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake immediately expressed her support for these actions and the need for long-lasting reform that will mean a better life and future for thousands of hard-working people and families.
President Obama’s Immigration Actions, specifically Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), support Baltimore’s own goal of a better, safer, and stronger future for all communities.
- Cities United for Immigration Action
- "Be Careful. Prepare. Seek the Right Help."
- What is Deferred Action?
- Additional Resources
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is committed to advocating for—in the local news and nationally—and promoting both the expansion of DACA and the opening of the DAPA program. Mayor Rawlings-Blake currently sits on the steering committee for Cities United for Immigration Action, a coalition of cities dedicated to immigration action and implementation.
The mayor recently united with mayors from across the country to file an amicus brief in opposition to the Texas vs. United States lawsuit that seeks to repeal President Obama’s Immigration Actions. Mayor Rawlings-Blake and mayors from across the U.S. stand with the president's actions, which will support family stability and economic opportunity for millions of children, young people, and parents.
There is much to be done locally. On February 10, 2015, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs, in collaboration with national, regional, and local partners, launched the “Be Careful, Prepare, Seek the Right Help.” campaign.
Some individuals and businesses threaten to undermine the Immigration Action by providing inaccurate, misleading, or fraudulent information and services. If you are a potential applicant for DACA or DAPA, be aware—the wrong help can hurt!
According to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS):
"Many people offer help with immigration services. Unfortunately, not all are authorized to do so. While many of these unauthorized practitioners mean well, all too many of them are out to rip you off. This is against the law and may be considered an immigration services scam."
Be particularly cautious of “notarios publicos” and other private businesses claiming to offer immigration services, as these may not be authorized to provide immigration services, may not offer reliable information, and could seek to exploit you or your family. Learn more about how you can avoid falling victim to fraud and scams by visiting the USCIS "Avoid Scams" page.
Mark your calendar…
- NOTE: Requests for DACA are not yet open. Originally scheduled for February 18, 2015, the program has been delayed.
- Requests for DAPA are expected to open in mid-May. Subscribe to USCIS news to receive updates.
Start preparing for your DACA or DAPA application now by collecting the necessary documentation and by saving for application fees. You can begin with the Additional Resources section below. Also, be sure to visit your local library for more information.
Seek the Right Help.
Finding the right help is key!
Dial 2-1-1 to get started, and ask for assistance with your DACA or DAPA application. Need interpretation for your call? Ask for interpretation—it’s available.
Use this list of reliable, local legal services to find help that is right for you and your family. If you need more information about DACA and DAPA, attend a local event hosted by one of our reliable partner organizations or check out the Additional Resources section below.
Deferred Action is a program of the United States federal government that grants some temporary relief for undocumented immigrants. If you are considered for Deferred Action, you may be eligible to receive temporary protection from deportation for 3 years, as well as work authorization and a Social Security number valid for 3 years. In Maryland, this also means you are eligible to receive a driver’s license.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program for undocumented immigrants who:
- Came to the United States before their 16th birthday,
- Are enrolled in school,
- Have resided in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010,
- And meet certain other eligibility requirements.
NOTE: When the program originally began, applicants were required to be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012. This age restriction no longer exists, due to President Obama’s Immigration Action on November 20, 2014.
NOTE: Requests for DACA are not yet open. Originally scheduled for February 18, 2015, program has been delayed.
When can I apply?
Do not apply now—the program is not yet open. Originally scheduled for February 18, 2015, program has been delayed, and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has not yet begun to accept requests. Visit the USCIS DACA page to review the requirements and obtain detailed instructions. Any person or business who requests your money now in exchange for DACA or DAPA services is probably attempting to scam you.
What will I need?
Start by using the chart in this document to determine your eligibility. Next, gather the evidence and documentation you will need for your application. It is also important to begin saving money for your application. For more information, view the Additional Resources section below, or attend a local event!
Along with expanding DACA, President Obama also announced the beginning of a program for parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. This program is called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA. You may be considered if you:
- Have been in the United States since at least January 1, 2010;
- Had no lawful status on November 20, 2014;
- Were present in the United States on November 20, 2014 and at the time of your DAPA request;
- And had, on November 20, 2014, a son or daughter (of any age or marital status), who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR).
When can I apply?
Do not apply now—the program is not yet open. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has not yet begun to accept requests. USCIS is expected to begin accepting requests in mid-May. Any person or business who requests your money now in exchange for DACA or DAPA services is probably attempting to scam you.
What will I need?
You can begin preparing now. Start by using the chart in this document to determine your eligibility. Then, gather the evidence and documentation you will need for your application. It is also important to begin saving money for your application.
Check back frequently for updated information.
Use these resources to determine your eligibility for DACA/DAPA, and to learn more about DACA/DAPA eligibility.
- Be Careful. Prepare. Seek the Right Help. (English|Spanish)—Mayor's Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs
- Administrative Relief Prescreen Form (English|Spanish|Chinese)—Esperanza Center
Immigration Executive Actions
The following websites provide information about President Obama's Immigration Executive Actions on November 20, 2014.
- Executive Actions on Immigration (English|Spanish)—United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- USCIS Flyers:
- CASA de Maryland (English|Spanish Translation Available)
- iAmerica (English|Spanish|Chinese|Creole|Korean|Tagalog|Vietnamese)
- Administrative Relief Resource Center (English)
- A Guide to the Immigration Accountability Executive Action (English)—Immigration Policy Center
- FAQ: The Obama Administration's DAPA and Expanded DACA Programs (English|Spanish)—National Immigration Law Center
- Administrative Relief (English|Some Documents in Spanish)—National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
- Administrative Relief (AR) Resources (English|Some Documents in Spanish)—Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
- Deferred Action for DREAMers (English|Spanish)—Fair Immigration Reform Movement
Avoiding Fraud and Immigration Scams
Don't become a victim of fraud. The following sites provide information on how to prevent and report immigration fraud.
- Avoid Scams (English|Spanish)—USCIS
- The Wrong Help Can Hurt (Various languages)—USCIS
- Beware of Immigration Fraud (English|Spanish)—Maryland Attorney General
- Anti-Notario Administrative Relief PSA (English|Portuguese|Spanish|Chinese|Polish|Haitian|Russian)—American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
- Federal Trade Commission Publications (Various languages)
- Fight Notario Fraud (English|Spanish)—American Bar Association
- Complaints Regarding Immigration Attorneys and Representatives (English|Spanish)—U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review
The following websites provide information regarding legal resources.
- National Immigration Legal Services Directory (Various languages)—Immigration Advocates Network
- AILA's Immigration Lawyer Search (English|Spanish)—American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
- Find Legal Help (English|Spanish|Chinese|Creole|Korean|Tagalog|Vietnamese)—iAmerica
- Find Legal Help (English)—Adminstrative Relief Resource Center
- Find an Attorney (English)—National Immigration Project
- Esperanza Center* (English|Spanish)
- CASA de Maryland* (English|Spanish Translation Available)
- World Relief* (English)
- FIRN, Inc.* (English|Some Documents in Various Languages)
- Tahirih Justice Center* (English)
- Justice for our Neighbors (English)
*These organizations have representatives in Maryland who are recognized and accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals.
The following list includes some of the documents and supporting evidence that may demonstrate that you qualify for administrative relief. The list is not exhaustive, and there may be other documents that demonstrate your eligibility.
This list also contains resources to help you gather this evidence.
Proof of Identity
- Passport/Identification/Birth Certificate from home country
- Websites of Foreign Embassies in the U.S. (English)—U.S. Department of State
- School or military identification
- Any U.S. immigration document with your photo and name
- Maryland driver's license
- How to Apply (English)—Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA)
Documents Showing Relationship with U.S. Citizen or LPR Child
- Child's birth certificate
- Birth Certificates (English)—Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Vital Statistics Administration
- Child's permanent resident card (Green Card)
- Naturalization certificate for child
Proof of Continuous Residence in the U.S. for the Past 5 Years, and on November 20, 2015
- Receipts for rent paid
- Rental agreements
- Utility bills (phone, electricity, water, property tax, etc.)
- School records (letters, report cards, etc.)
- Records from a religious organization confirming your participation
- Medical records
- Health insurance records
- Money order receipts (for money sent within or outside of the country)
- Bank statements
- Vehicle registration
- Vehicle insurance records
- Motor Vehicle Administration records
- Driving Record Information (English)—MVA
- Tax filing records
- Library records
- Library Cards and Accounts (English)—Enoch Pratt Free Library
You are highly encouraged to speak with an attorney if you have a criminal record (see Legal Assistance resources above).
- Information reltated to any contact with police or law enforcement
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