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December 11, 2020, Adrian, Michigan – Dreamers – young undocumented immigrants who, as children, came to the United States with their parents – are now eligible to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, allowing them to remain in the United States without fear of being deported.
Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, JD, immigration attorney and Director of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Office of Immigration Assistance, is available free of charge to help Dreamers apply for DACA status or renew their applications.
The DACA program was initiated during the administration of President Barack Obama, but rescinded under President Donald Trump in 2017. In June 2020, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump Administration had violated procedural law in rescinding the program, and a federal court in New York ruled on December 4, 2020, that DACA had to be reinstated. About 646,000 Dreamers have benefited from DACA since 2012, and about 685,000 more young immigrants could be eligible for the program.
To be eligible, immigrants must have entered the United States before turning 16; be at least 15 and no more than 30 years old; and have been in the United States continuously since June 15, 2007, and present in the country on June 15, 2012. They must also be free of a disqualifying criminal record, which includes a felony conviction; three or more misdemeanor convictions; significant misdemeanor convictions, such as driving while under the influence, domestic abuse, possession of a controlled substance or firearm; or involvement in any circumstance that could be viewed as a danger to public safety or national security.
In preparation for the application process, please organize the following documents that prove your eligibility:
Proof of identity, date of birth, and qualifying age: birth certificate, passport, and National Identity Document/Cedula.
Proof of five years of continuous residence in the United States as of June 15, 2012: school records, financial records, employment records, tax records, medical records, church records, driving records.
Proof of being in school, having a high school diploma or GED, or honorable discharge from the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces: school transcript, report cards, high school diploma or GED certificate, or discharge papers.
Proof that you do not have a disqualifying conviction and do not pose a public safety or national security risk: juvenile court records or criminal court records, if any. If you have not been arrested or charged with an offense, you do not have to prove this; you will be required to make an appointment to have your fingerprints taken to determine if you have an arrest record.
If you are eligible and are prepared to gather the necessary documents, please call Laura Negron-Terrones, Administrative Assistant, at 517-266-3526 to discuss the next steps.
October 28, 2020, Adrian, Michigan – The General Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters issued the following statement in response to the news that 545 immigrant children are still separated from their parents.
Let the little children come to me …
for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.
Our hearts ache in anguish over the plight of 545 boys and girls who were willfully separated from their parents by the Trump Administration in 2017 under a “pilot program” of separating migrant families, deporting the parents to Central America without their children and with no means of tracking them for reunification.
The abject cruelty of this “program” is horrifying. The grave harm done to these innocents is unconscionable.
These children came to our country with their parents. By order of the Trump Administration, the minors were taken from their parents, who were then deported, while the children were kept in U.S. custody. In 2018, court orders required the Trump Administration to reunite an estimated 2,800 children they had separated through what they called their “zero-tolerance” policy. Non-governmental groups have been working hard to do so but have not been able to locate the parents of 545 of these children.
The plight of these children is a national nightmare that reflects the debasement of our polity. It is a painfully particular nightmare for each of the 545 innocents and their grieving parents. Please join us in speaking out fiercely so that our government undertakes every effort to reunite these children with their parents – and in praying that they are successful.
Members of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ General Council are Sisters Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress; Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP, Vicaress and General Councilor; Frances Nadolny, OP, Administrator and General Councilor; Patricia Harvat, OP, General Councilor; and Elise D. García, OP, General Councilor.