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June 19, 2012
Deferred Action: What you can do NOW!

A concrete plan on how to apply for Deferred Action has NOT yet been announced but there are things you can do RIGHT NOW to make sure that, when the time comes, you can prepare yourself to consult with an attorney, determine if DA is right for you, and decide to apply. Remember, you are the BEST advocate for yourself and there is NO HARM in collecting your documents as you can now. Here is a beginner list to get you started but get creative and see what you come up with! Try to get everything as official as possible (on letterhead, notarized, etc). Remember, you don’t need ALL of these but the more you have, the better!

***Note*** If you have any sort of criminal, violation, ticketing, arrest history, work with a lawyer specifically trained in criminal/immigration issues to determining what makes sense for you. If you have any outstanding arrests, fines that need to be paid, community service that needs to be done, take care of it ASAP! It’s your life!

Showing you entered the U.S. when you were under 16 years old

Travel Documents from when you entered the U.S.

Passport with entry stamp



School Records from your Childhood

Report Cards

Enrollment forms

School photos, class pictures


School IDs

Medical Records

Hospital visits

Doctor check up appointments


Dentist records

Eyeglass/contact records

Medicaid, child health plus records

Financial Documents


Cell phone bills

Utility bills

Bank Statements



Church records, letters

Letters from friends and family (notarized!)

Mail addressed to you stamped by the post office

Court records, ie from custody cases, foster care (probably not your own criminal court records!)


Showing you have five years of Continued Presence in the U.S

To show you have been in the U.S. for five continuous years, you can basically use the same documents from above, just make sure they are continuous. So, for example, five years of report cards from the same school or taxes paid for five years in a row.

Showing you were in the U.S. on June 15th, 2012

Hopefully, USCIS is going to be ok with proving you were in the U.S. in June(ish) so look at the list above and see if you have anything that took place around June of 2012 (though June 15th is the best!) also look for:

Receipts with your name of purchases made

Sign in lists at shelters or organizations

Letters from job, school, group meetings saying you attended on that day

Showing you are in school or have graduated from High School, GED, etc,

Same school factors as above but be sure to include graduation/completion  certificates!

The “I Rock” Factors

Deferred Action is DISCRETIONARY. You want to make your case so strong that they just can’t say no! That means that, aside from the above-listed factors, the more you can show that you are a wonderful contributing member of society (because you are!) the better! So work on getting

High School:

Extracurricular and sport awards

Graduation awards

Honor roll records and good report cards

Letters from teachers, guidance counselors and principals

Higher Education:

College acceptance letters

Diplomas and degrees

Scholarship award letters

Volunteer and Work Experience

Any proof of any volunteer work you have done, ever.

Proof of supporting yourself through school

Letters from employers

Letters from people who have helped, ie a single mom     who you babysit for or an elderly neighbor who you look after from time to time

Facebook note: IMPORTANT

DHS does have access to facebook and uses it SO if you have any “I don’t  rock” type things on facebook (statements saying the government is bad, pictures of you doing things you wouldn’t want immigration to see), take them down, delete them and maybe, delete your entire facebook account!




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