Illegal Iimmigrant Deportation | Illegal Alien Deportation | Immigration Reform

DREAM Act And Other Legislative Relief Elusive 

I came to the United States when I was a child with my mother. My mother was an illegal immigrant and she just lost her deportation case. I am left with no documents saying that I came with a visa with her. I am 20 years old and want to go to college but I am unable to because I do not have any paperwork showing that I am legal. I am an illegal alien and am fearful of deportation.  What should I do?
— Anonymous

On October 24, 2007, the United States Senate voted 52-44 in favor of allowing a debate on an immigration reform called the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act). Unfortunately, the Senate did not obtain 60 total votes that were required for the debate. Thus, the DREAM

Act is still a dream for millions of individuals who were brought to the United States by their parents, just like yourself, as young children and remain in the United States with very few, if any, options. There are various versions of the DREAM Act, but the general idea is that it would help individuals who were brought to the United States while under the age of 16 and who can demonstrate good moral character, attendance at school for five years, and more. Through various proposed bills and discussions, there are also potential requirements such as attending college for a period of time or becoming a member of the United States military.


With respect to your lawful entry, if you did in fact enter the United States with a visa, you should be able to get a record of it by filing a Form I-102, Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document. You will need to provide the date and place of your last entry into the United States along with any documentation that you may have to support your claim. If you do not have any documentation, a detailed explanation should be attached to the Form that includes when and where you entered, your departure city and country, and with whom you entered with.

Another option may be to file a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA), specifically requesting proof of your last entry into the United States. Because you have been in the United States for more than 10 years, if you are placed in removal proceedings and you are otherwise eligible, you have a “safety net” called Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents. This “safety-net” by no means guarantees termination of removal proceedings, as you the very difficult task of proving “extreme and unusual hardship”, but it is a form of relief that may be argued on your behalf, if you have a qualifying relative.

If you have further immigration questions, you should contact a competent immigration lawyer to discuss your options.

Michael Shane and Evan Shane, Immigration Attorneys

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