Most entries below contain actual legal discussions of events directly related to Filipinos in or immigrating to the United States.
Remember- These writings are provided for general information only and do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. Each person's needs and requirements are different and require a personal evaluation to determine the proper legal course of action.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Filipino Fear of Filing for DACA

If the Philippines is given Temporary Protected Status, will we see the same reluctance to apply for TPS that we are experiencing with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?

DACA is an immigration program that helps young persons who entered the U.S. when under 16 years old to obtain work authorization and other legal documents. A recent story on National Public Radio (NPR) claimed that less than 20% of eligible Filipinos have applied for DACA. The story blames social embarrassment as the reason for the low number of Filipino DACA registrants, implying that Filipinos fear humiliation from their own community if it becomes known that they are not in valid immigration status.

TPS can provide important benefits to Filipinos in a legal status (such as H-1B, H-4, F-1 or F-2), but like DACA, TPS is of even more help to those out of status. When other countries were granted TPS, those without legal status gained the most from TPS. Being able to legally work, get a valid social security card and travel are amazing benefits.

Protecting the privacy of our clients is a mandate at Austin & Ferguson, LLC. Because USCIS uses a centralized filing system, all DACA and TPS cases are easily handled by mail and over the internet. This allows us to successfully handle not just DACA cases but most other types of immigration cases as well for clients from all over the United States. If the Philippines is designated for TPS, it would be sad if the fear of social scorn deters anyone from privately getting the wonderful benefits of the TPS program.

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