The Daily News (Opinion):
Monday, December 29, 2014, 4:25 PM
By Allan Wernick
Documents such as passports are evidence to prove qualifications for Deferred Action programs, and are helpful when meeting with immigration law experts before applying
It's a smart move to have copies of passports and other immigration documents to prove evidence of qualification for Deferred Action programs and to show to immigration law experts
Q: Reading your columns, I was pleased to learn that my wife and I qualify for Deferred Action for Parental Accountability. We plan to apply, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement has our passports. How do we get them back?
A.K., by email
A: You can’t get your passport back, but you can get a copy. You are smart to do that. Applicants for Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) should get copies of any existing immigration files. Besides getting evidence to help prove your qualifications for DAPA, you’ll want an immigration law expert to review your file before you file your application. You can get a copy of your file by submitting a Freedom of Information Act request with the agency that has your records. These is no filing fee, but occasionally the agency will charge a copying fee.
To help you and other DACA/DAPA applicants, let’s review how undocumented immigrants can get copies of their immigration files.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement files: To get an ICE file, submit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services form G-639, Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act Request. You can get the form at www.uscis.gov/forms or by calling USCIS at (800) 870-3676.
Submit to ICE by mail, fax, emailing the form or filing it online. Mailing address: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Freedom of Information Act Office, 500 12th St. SW., Stop 5009, Washington, D.C. 20536-5009. Fax: (202) 732-4265. Email: ICE-FOIA@dhs.gov. To file online, go to http://www.ice.gov/webform/foia-request-form. Call ICE about an FOIA request at (866) 633-1182.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: File USCIS Form G-639. Mail to USCIS, National Records Center (NRC) FOIA/PA Office, P.O. Box 648010, Lee’s Summit, Mo. 64064-8010. Fax to (816) 350-5785 or (802) 288-1793. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can call USCIS at (800) 375-5283.
Customs and Border Protection: File USCIS form G-639. Mail to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, FOIA Division, 90 K St. NE, MS 1181, Washington, D.C. 20229-1181. You can apply online at www.cbp.gov/FOIA. Call CBP FOIA at (202) 325-0150.
Executive Office for Immigration Review: For your deportation/removal proceedings file, write to the EOIR. Do not use form G-639. Instead send EOIR your full name, aliases, immigration hearing location, and alien registration “A” number. If you don't know your A-number, or the case occurred before 1988, provide the date of your Order to Show Cause (first notice to appear in court), country of origin, and the place where your immigration hearing was held. Mail to U.S. Department of Justice, EOIR, Office of the General Counsel, Attn: FOIA Service Center, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1903,Falls Church, VA 20530. Email EOIR.FOIARequests@usdoj.gov Call EOIR FOIA at (703) 605-1297.
Allan Wernick is an attorney and director of the City University of New York‘s Citizenship NOW! project. Send questions and comments to Allan Wernick, New York Daily News, 4 New York Plaza, New York, N.Y., 10004 or email to email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @awernick.
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigratioinlaw.com