Dreamers—If You’re Preparing for Deferred Action, Get Your School Records


The newly announced program for undocumented, DREAM-eligible youth will not start accepting applications until August, at the earliest, but people who think they qualify can still begin getting ready now. The last time I wrote about this, I advised you to get your passport. Next you should obtain your school records.

School records are extremely important to satisfy several requirements for the deferred action program. To qualify, you must have either a GED, a high school diploma, or be currently enrolled in school. So, obviously, the first school record you’ll need is your diploma or GED certificate, or proof of current enrollment. But, even if you get these, other records are going to be important for your case, as well.

To qualify for the Dreamer program, you have to show you were in the US before you turned 16 years of age. One of the best ways to show this is with school records indicating you were enrolled in a US school when you were 15. You will also need to prove you have been in this country for the last five years. School records like report cards will show the months you were enrolled in school on a year-by-year basis. If you were in school for the last five years, your school records may be sufficient to demonstrate your five years of physical presence here.


Anita Halasz of Long Island Jobs with Justice, at a recent rally in Hempstead (Credit: Ted Hesson)

To get your records, you should call your school or district administrative offices. Most school districts have a centralized records office with everything pertaining to you. Don’t wait for the last minute to try to get your school records. Thousands of Dreamers will be trying to get these records this summer, so request them early before there is a long line of applicants.

If you want more information on this important program, come to the workshop being offered by CARECEN on Tuesday, July 10, at 5pm (2000 Brentwood Road, Brentwood, second floor). Call 631-273-8721 for more information.

I’ll also be offering a workshop in CARECEN’s Hempstead office on Tuesday, July 16, at 5pm (91 N. Franklin Street, Suite 208, Hempstead, 516-489-8330).

I’ll be posting new tips each week for ways you can get ready for the DREAM program, so check back frequently.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.