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Where does a 17year old undocumented teen start?

Palmdale, CA |

My sons best friend, who has become a 2nd caregiver to me, will soon turn 18 and is terrified of deportation. He's been here, in the same city since 2nd grade and has never even visited Mexico. He has become family to us in the last two years and, on a non personal side, has become a great asset to helping my son take care of me. I don't know exactly why his mother can't sponsor him, she's working but also collecting welfare due to 4 additional kids, he spends most of his days here.
He's like a son to me, on track to graduate and wants to start looking for a job. Is there anything I can do as a non family member to help? Any nudge in the right direction would help.
Thank you in advance.

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Attorney answers 6


He might qualify for deferred action (DACA) if he is going to graduate high school. Please seek a consultation with an immigration attorney.


Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) may be an option to him based on his timing of entry to the U.S. and his impending graduation from high school. He or you should seek a consultation from an experienced immigration attorney to glean whether he is eligible for DACA and meets all other requirements. Good luck!


I agree with previous answers that DACA seems like the most obvious choice. The best thing you can do for the young man is find a reputable immigration attorney in your area and schedule a consultation for him. That way the attorney can review all options with the young man.

Lastly, good for you for looking out for him. Many other kids would benefit from having an adult like you in their lives.


Yes, as the others said, if he has no serious criminal offense record (felony, 2 misdemeanors, no drug or DUI), then he is eligible for DUI. Also, I would be wanting to know what the mother's status is. If she is legally drawing welfare and is not an illegal public charge, she may herself be a legal resident. I would really want to know what her situation is, and besides, she may be eligible for cancellation of removal, if she has been here for over 10 years. An experienced attorney would need to counsel with the boy and his family.

All answers to immigration questions should not be taken as legally binding advice. If you have an immigration issue, please call me at Pacifica Legal Services 805-290-4930 and make an appointment for an initial 30 minute consultation. Additional time is billed at $100.00 per 30 minute increments. Todas las respuestas a las preguntas de inmigración no deben tomarse como asesoramiento legal. Si usted tiene un problema de inmigración, por favor llámeme al Pacifica Legal Services 805-290-4930 y hacer una cita para una consulta inicial de 30 minutos. El tiempo adicional se factura a $ 100.00 por incrementos de 30 minutos.


Your son's best friend is a Dreamer. An American without documentation. If he's been here since 2nd grade he very likely qualifies for DACA and he should apply immediately - certainly before his 18th birthday when he will otherwise begin accruing unlawful presence. This will give him a - renewable every 2 years - employment authorization and safety from deportation. Really, get it done BEFORE he turns 18. He may need a little help with the forms and the evidence needed, but half a million have done it and are already safe.


DACA - Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals may be an option if he does not have a DUI and meets the other DACA requirements. Wishing you all the best.

I'm a lawyer so I am sure you are expecting a disclaimer. This information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You can call us at 916-613-3553 to schedule a consultation. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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