Question: I think I’m under LULAC, but never knew I could file again. I believed I missed the deadline. Is there anything I could do?
Answer: Yes. U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the filing deadline for applications for legalization under the terms of the CSS and LULAC (Newman) settlement agreements is extended from May 23, 2005 until December 31, 2005.
This is not a new amnesty program. The CSS and LULAC (Newman) settlement agreements allow for those who meet certain requirements to apply or reapply for Temporary Resident status under the 1986 amnesty program of Section 245A of Immigration and Nationality Act.
Eligible individuals may apply by submitting a Form I-687, Application for Status as a Temporary Resident under Section 245A of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and a CSS/ LULAC (Newman) Class Membership Worksheet.
Question: What are the basic requirements to be eligible?
Answer: 1) You had to live in the United States unlawfully from before January 1, 1982, to a date between May 5, 1987, and May 4, 1988, when you went to an office of the Immigration Service or a Qualified Designated entity to apply for legalization.
2) You, your parent or your spouse visited an INS office or Qualified Designated Entity between May 5, 1987, and May 4, 1988, to apply for legalization.
3) The INS or QDE told you that you were ineligible for legalization because you had traveled outside the United States without INS permission. You, your spouse or your parent returned to the United States with an immigration issued document such as a Student Visa, Visitor Visa or some other Immigration issued document.
4) You do NOT need to have previously “registered” as a LULAC class member or even had a completed application. However, you did need to go the QDE in the specified time period.
Question: What type of evidence do I need to present to win under this LULAC Settlement agreement?
Answer: Clearly, many people do not have the original documents, or even any stamped documents from Immigration. Usually, if the former INS had rejected the application because of what is known as ‘front-desking’, the person was just turned away. Thus, it is not possible in many instances for an applicant to prove that they were rejected. However, the LULAC settlement specifically states that persons who fall under this settlement may establish eligibility for legalization by way of declarations, and not only by original documents. The settlement also provides class members the right to appeal to a “special master,” a judicial officer with the authority to correct the CIS’s errors in the event the agency does not decide a class member’s legalization application promptly, fairly, and in accordance with the settlement’s guidelines.
Question: When can I apply for this?
Answer: The settlement provides that CIS must begin accepting legalization applications no later than May 24, 2004, but the government might decide to begin the one-year application somewhat earlier. This means that individuals will now have until December 2005, to apply for legalization under the settlement.
Question: Is there any other previous amnesty related provisions that this settlement agreement is applicable toward?
Answer: Actually there are others. Catholic Social Services is another program that is applicable to this settlement agreement. There are a couple of differences. First, you would have had to travel outside the U.S. without authorization after November 6, 1986. Second, you returned to the U.S. without permission.
Therefore, since it has been extended, do not let the deadline pass again if you qualify.