Voice

September-October 2012

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BEHIND THE CASE by Sheeba Raj ATTORNEY: Douglas Stump, Stump & Associates ERO Approves Deferred Action for Siblings Slated for Removal G and leaving behind their family in the United States, when they received the news of a lifetime. The siblings got their lucky break on July 2, when Im- abriela and Angel Tepe hadn't seen their native Guatemala since the ages of 4 and 2, respectively, yet were just one day away from returning there migration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) determined that they were eligible for deferred action and that their departure order would not be enforced. The family remains united because of the Department of "Stump advises attorneys to produce the stron not be responsive to our request for review. You know, the program was just being rolled out. No one knew if the ERO Advocate would be looking at these cases as they came in. We were operating under a set of instructions and guide- lines that had not yet been tested. " Practice Tips Stump advises attorneys to produce the strongest ap- plications possible, as there is no mechanism for appeal. "Applications need to be perfected upon the first filing. Counsel must carefully vet applicants and be exception- ally thorough in preparing the exhibits that accompany the applications," said Stump. He also noted the challenges in proving that there were no meaningful departures from the United States, especially between school semesters and Homeland Security's Deferred Action for Childhood Ar- rivals (DACA) initiative, which was announced on June 15. Although U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) authorized young, undocumented immigrants to apply for deferred action starting August 15,1 and Angel were able to apply earlier because they were already involved in removal proceedings. Texas chapter member and AILA President-Elect Doug Stump and his law firm have been representing the siblings for years. On June 22, Stump filed a motion to reopen with the Board of Immigration Appeals, requesting withdrawal of the Tepe siblings' request for voluntary departure and remand to the immigration judge to apply for deferred action and administrative closure. Three days later, Stump assembled applications for the siblings according to the Department of Homeland Security's instructions2 Gabriela forcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Public Advo- cate. Shortly therea┼┐ter, the ERO contacted Stump to con- firm receipt of the file. On July 12, Stump received written confirmation of the July 2 deferred action grant. "I think the extraordinarily short and e-mailed the En- which to act was the principal challenge that we faced," time-frame within Stump said. "We didn't know what to expect from the agency [ICE]. We were concerned that the agency might 26 VOICE Foundation for International Services, Inc. When accuracy, effectiveness and integrity count, legal professionals depend on the leader in Foreign Credential Evaluations, Expert Opinion and Translation Services. When accuracy, effectiveness and integrity count, legal professionals depend on the leader in Foreign Credential Evaluations, Expert Opinion and Translation Services. Foundation for International Services, Inc. 505 - 5th Avenue South, Suite 101 Edmonds, WA 98020 USA PHONE: 425-248-2255 FAX: 425-248-2262 www.fis-web.com

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