Thursday, July 02, 2015

Thursday, November 20, 2014

VIDEO: President Obama's Immigration Action! + new USCIS immigration guidelines + ICE's how to apply for Prosecutorial Discretion





From inside the White House

Tonight I am extremely proud of our President and the countless heroes who have worked tirelessly to achieve this! I am proud to call many of these heroes my friends. Some are undocumented and some are elected officials. We have shared tears and laughter on the road to this moment and I have grown to consider many of you my family. I hope that tonight we can celebrate this success. Soon we will have to rise again to continue this fight.
This is not our ultimate goal of comprehensive immigration reform, but is an important and necessary measure that will give temporary relief to millions of undocumented immigrants. We must support it wholeheartedly as the same Republicans who have prevented congressional, lasting action on this matter will attack our President for doing what he can to protect our communities.

When everyone who believes that immigrants deserve a chance at a better life can put aside our differences and work together will we have the might to achieve the more lasting legislative solution that only congress can provide.

It's taken a lot of effort to arrive at this day but we must not relent.

The President is doing what he can to help undocumented immigrants. We need to keep pushing congress to achieve a lasting, legislative solution!!!

    At the White House:  Andres Useche speaks about the need for Immigration Reform for undocumented Immigrants





    Below you will find the guidelines and links for now I leave you with the words of man who I am honored to have as our President:
      " Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger – we were strangers once, too. My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal – that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will. That’s the country our parents and grandparents and generations before them built for us. That’s the tradition we must uphold. That’s the legacy we must leave for those who are yet to come. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless this country we love. " President Barack Obama



      These are the new guidelines from U.S. Citizen and Immigration Cervices (click the links for details and

      (para espaƱol ve a http://www.uscis.gov/es/accionmigratoria )

      Executive Actions on Immigration 

      On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive actions to crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
      These initiatives include:
      • Expanding the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to young people who came to this country before turning 16 years old and have been present since January 1, 2010, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years | Details
      • Allowing parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been in the country since January 1, 2010, to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, in a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program, provided they pass required background checks | Details
      • Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens | Details
      • Modernizing, improving and clarifying immigrant and nonimmigrant programs to grow our economy and create jobs | Details
      • Promoting citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents and providing an option for naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee | Details  
      The following is key. While 5 million undocumented immigrants will be able to apply to be protected from deportation and given work permits the other 6 million will also be in a better position to seek Prosecutorial Discretion since the stated priority will be on deporting dangerous criminals/felons and not hard-working undocumented families. This is important and necessary but it's still too risky for non-criminal undocumented folks to be deported and they too should be able to freely emerge from the shadows: We need the security and opportunity that real legislative reform will provide, we must keep fighting for it by putting pressure on those who have blocked it in congress.

      How to Seek Prosecutorial Discretion from ICE

      On November 20, 2014, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced new immigration enforcement priorities and guidance on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion entitled Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants Memorandum. All DHS agencies, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), will apply these priorities when deciding which aliens to arrest, detain, and remove from the United States.  ICE has long used prosecutorial discretion in performing its immigration enforcement mission, and is updating its procedures and training to implement the new priorities.
      The Secretary also issued a memorandum entitled Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children and with Respect to Certain Individuals Whose Parents are U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents, which, through the exercise of prosecutorial discretion, allows individuals who meet the eligibility criteria to apply, on a case-by-case basis, for DACA and deferred action.  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will adjudicate all of these cases.  If you have questions about deferred action or other services and benefits offered by USCIS, you may call the USCIS National Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-800-375-5283 or visit the website at www.uscis.gov for more information.
      Information is provided below about how to seek prosecutorial discretion, including for individuals eligible for DACA and deferred action, from ICE under the new priorities.

      For individuals in ICE custody

      • In order to enhance its ability to detain and remove aliens who pose a national security or public safety threat, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) will be proactively reviewing the cases of individuals in its custody.
      • If you would like to discuss your priority status or wish ICE to exercise prosecutorial discretion in your case, including if you believe you are eligible for DACA or deferred action, you should follow the detainee-staff communication procedures for your facility. These procedures are outlined in the orientation handbook you were provided when you were booked into ICE custody. 
      • You may also call the ICE ERO Detention Reporting and Information Line, toll-free, at 1-888-351-4024 to make your request.

      For individuals in proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review

      • If your administrative proceedings are pending before an immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals but you believe that you do not fall within the DHS enforcement priorities, including if you believe you are eligible for DACA or deferred action, ICE may agree to administratively close your case upon request.
      • You may submit your request to the ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA). You (or, if you are represented, your legal representative) should submit your request for prosecutorial discretion to the mailbox of the OPLA field office that is handling your case. A link to the OPLA field office mailboxes is available here.
      • Your request should include your full name, alien registration number (A-number), and the status of your case. You may also include the reasons you believe you do not fall within the DHS enforcement priorities, including if you believe you are eligible for DACA or deferred action.
      • OPLA will consider your request promptly and provide a response to the e-mail address from which the incoming message was sent.

      For individuals with removal orders who are scheduled for removal and are not in ICE custody

      • ICE will review the cases of individuals scheduled for removal. However, if you have been scheduled for removal and believe that you merit prosecutorial discretion, including if you believe you are eligible for DACA or deferred action, you should promptly contact the ERO officer responsible for your case to discuss the matter. 
      • You may also call the ICE ERO Detention Reporting and Information Line, toll-free, at 1-888-351-4024.  You may also contact your local OPLA office, or you may call the USCIS National Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-800-375-5283 or visit the website at www.uscis.gov for more information

      Monday, November 11, 2013

      some behind-the-scenes photos from films and vids I've directed

      Some behind-the-scenes photos of some of the projects I've had the pleasure to direct:




























      Sylvia Earle, Jennifer Aniston, Tatiana Hurtado, Sergio Naranjo,  Naomi Watts, primazo/DP Brian Torres, James Gandolfini, Paul Rudd, Hayden Panettiere, producer Fisher Stevens, Woody Harrelson, Ben Stiller, Jason Mraz,Lina Esco, Courteney Cox, Mariska Hargitay

      Tuesday, December 04, 2012

      Dream to Belong music video: in support of the DREAM Act and CIR: Comprehensive Immigration Reform

      Free song download at  http://www.facebook.com/ImmigrationReformVideos
      Dream to Belong -Music and lyrics by Andres Useche A video in support of the DREAM Act & Comprehensive Immigration reform; filmed and photographed with hundreds of DREAMers and immigration reform activists across the country. Dedicated to all the Dreamers and in memory of Dreamer Joaquin Luna and our ally Shaun Chapa. (scroll down for full performer + video credits after this):



      This country was built on a DREAM: A dream of freedom, of opportunity, the belief that if you put in the hard work you could become anything you wanted to be, that you could achieve anything. It was that dream that inspired waves of migration and brought so many to build railroads and work the fields, that drove so many to join the beautiful diversity that helps make the United States the country that it is today. It was that dream of opportunity that led parents to bring their small children into the US, seeking to give them a better life. These children grew up here, undocumented: we call them Dreamers. It is that same Dream that fuels our struggle for the DREAM Act & immigration reform today. Dreamers too have had to seek the land of opportunity where they already live, where their fulfillment has been denied for too long. Dreamers have inspired me as they have inspired so many because they embody the struggle to belong, to grow, to achieve and to give back as much as they possibly can. Through their relentless pursuit of education and their desire to work, Dreamers not only better themselves but the country they grew up in, the land they love. When this nation opens its arms to Dreamers, it's getting closer to a more complete fulfillment of its fundamental promise. It is this embrace that brings us closer to a more perfect union, a nation with an arc bending towards justice. 

      Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was a giant leap and a testament to the hard work of DREAMers themselves who have organized for what is right. We are grateful to the Obama administration for this temporary measure but as the President himself has said, this is only the beginning. Dreamers and allies will not stop until the solution is permanent and includes the hardworking families who made such a tremendous effort to give their children, the DREAMers, a brighter future. Join our efforts. Together, Si, Se Puede!!! -Andres Useche


      Monday, September 17, 2012

      DREAMers! Here's a step-by-step guide for the undocumented youth applying for the Obama Administration's Deportation Relief and Work Permits program: DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)


      United We DREAM: What happens after DREAMers send in their DACA Application? 

      A fellow Dreamer from California documented his entire application process. He has now been accepted and received his work permit! Congratulations and thank you for taking the time to share this with us. But first some important things to remember: (tips +video)



      UWD: TIPS for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals application:
      Before you begin filling out your forms, you must read all the instructions per form under http://www.uscis.gov/i-821D
      You may fill out your forms by typing or print legibly in black ink.
      Remember that you must submit copies of all your original documents. (Not the original documents themselves)
      Copy/Scan Your Entire Application: Make a photocopy or scan of your entire application, including the checks or money orders. You may need to refer to your application again in the future (or show it to an advocate or attorney). This is especially important if the Dream Act passes, or if you become eligible to file for permanent status; you will want a record of everything you stated in your DACA application.
      Label and Protect Your Photographs: On the back of your photographs, label in pencil your full name and date of birth. Place both photographs in a small plastic bag (like a sandwich bag) and paperclip (do not staple) them to front of your application (behind theForm G-1145).
      Sign All Forms: Make sure your original signature is on all USCIS forms (Form I-821Dand Form I-765)



      United States Citizenship and Immigration Services how-to-Video for DACA:



      What happens after you send in your DACA Application? Step by Step.

      1) If you sent a G1145, you receive electronic receipts of your I-821D and I-765 forms:


      2) If you did not send a G1145, you will receive your I-821D and I-765 form receipts via mail 5-7 days after the Lockbox facility received your package:



      3) You will receive a receipt to verify all your information is correct for the biometrics appointment:



      4) After receipts, the next step in the process would be for background checks as part of the decision process. USCIS will now request for your biometrics (fingerprints).

      You will then receive a subsequent I-797 Notice of Action receipt in the mail with your appointment date for your biometrics to be taken at your local Application Support Center, ASC. (7-10 days after the Lockbox received your package)




      5) You have an appointment, the date arrived and the ASC has successfully taken your biometrics/fingerprints, your photo and your signature. Depending on your background checks,
      whether your record is clean or not so clean, the following will take less or more time. Your biometrics are sent to the FBI (who usually returns your record within 24-48 hrs) and its forwarded to USCIS for them to do IBIS Name Check and IDENT Fingerprint Check as part of the background checks.

      The Biometrics letter after your appointment (notice the stamp):




      6) You should then receive a TXT (If you have Signed Up to USCIS Portfolio) showing that your I-765 application has been accepted and your card has been ordered for production.
      This change will also appear in Case Status online. (6-15 days after the date you did Biometrics at ASC)

      Note that you can check your case status online with your initial receipt number after you have created an account.





      7) Congratulations! Your case has now been accepted! The adjudication of I-765 means your DACA case has been approved.

      You should then receive a TXT (If you have Signed Up to USCIS Portfolio) stating that your I-821D has been approved and a notice has been mailed. (1 day after your I-765 EAD goes into production)




      -7.2 You should then receive a TXT (If you have Signed Up to USCIS Portfolio) stating that your Employment Authorization Document (EAD), has been mailed. (1 day after your I-765 EAD goes into production)

      You should then receive a TXT (If you have Signed Up to USCIS Portfolio) stating that USPS has picked up your EAD. (1 day after your I-765 EAD goes into production)



      7.3 Then you should receive a First Class Flat Rate Envelope that contains I-797D which contains the approval notice and the EAD card itself. (4 days after I-765 EAD goes into production)



      Yes you now have your work permit and this is what it looks like: 

      Front of I-797D:







      7.4 After reading the letter in the back of I-797D you should find your work permit attached, this is what it looks like:



      Also : here's how the undocumented youth can get a social security number after qualifying for deportation relief/Deferred Action ! 


      Thursday, June 21, 2012

      A Great Victory for DREAM Act Activists: President Obama to stop deportation of DREAMers and grant them work permits!



       President Obama's announcement that DREAMers would not be deported and would be allowed to work openly filled my soul with joy. Not only because of how much it means to me that my Dreamer friends and their families will be spared the painful uprooting of deportation. Not only because of how much it helps all the Dreamers I've yet to meet but whose lives, trials and accomplishments I deeply care about.  As much as Dreamers matter to me, and they do, immensely, I didn't rejoice just for them. No, I also truly rejoiced for this country as a whole:

      This country was built on a DREAM: A dream of freedom, of opportunity, the belief that if you put in the hard work you could be anything you wanted to be, that you could achieve anything. It was that dream that inspired waves of migration, that brought so many to build railroads and work the fields, that drove so many to join the beautiful diversity that helps make the United States the country that it is today. It was that dream of opportunity that awakened the desire of parents to bring their small children, seeking to give them a better life. These children who were too young to make that choice themselves, who grew up here, undocumented,  we call Dreamers.  And in a way it is that same Dream that fuels our struggle for the DREAM Act today. Dreamers too have had to seek the land of opportunity where they live, where they might have grown up but where their fulfillment has been denied for too long. Dreamers have inspired me as they have inspired so many because they embody the struggle to belong, to grow, to achieve and to give back as much as they possibly can. Through education and their desire to work Dreamers not only better themselves but the country they grew up in, the land they love. When this nation opens its arms to Dreamers, it's getting closer to a more complete fulfillment of its fundamental promise. It is this embrace that brings us closer to a more perfect union, a nation with an arc bending towards justice. So I am happy for the Dreamers, I am happy as an immigrant, but I am also happy as a United States citizen. Belonging to this generous, diverse nation is a privilege that Dreamers deserve, and I am proud of our President protecting Dreamers from deportation, hopefully until the day that they too can become citizens themselves.

      President Obama knows how deeply the dreamer struggle is bound to the fabric of the nation. He's said that this is only a first, necessary but temporary step. And like so many of us, believes congress must pass the DREAM Act which offers a path to citizenship.  The President and a majority of Democrats support us in our efforts to achieve a comprehensive immigration reform that is humane and practical. We will not surrender that goal, that dream. Yes, this is a first step, but it changes everything. It is through such steps that we will make our way ahead. So I ask of you, will you take these steps with us? We're marching together into the light.

      Si, Se Puede!
      Andres

      The President also explained his decision to back DREAMers to Time Magazine: http://ideas.time.com/2012/06/17/a-nation-of-laws-and-a-nation-of-immigrants/#ixzz1yKg5XHfT

      To stand with President Obama and ask congress to pass the DREAM Act in full go to: http://leftaction.com/action/stand-pres-obama-pass-dream-act

      To learn more about the administrative Relief for DREAMers through deferred action join United We Dream's web seminar here: http://attendee.gotowebinar.com/19x1j/rt/9097322167939882240








      Monday, February 27, 2012

      Our DREAM Act song (full) + Obama on Immigration (FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT)



      Dream to Belong  -The complete song in support of the DREAM Act, dedicated to all the Dreamers and in memory of Dreamer Joaquin Luna. Full credits here

      Let's keep putting pressure on the ground, organizing, demonstrating, talking to people online and in person and reminding everyone that this country, founded on the ideal of equality and opportunity, can only benefit from each Dreamer's desire to educate themselves and contribute openly to this nation. Any society can only benefit from its struggle to overcome prejudice, selfishness and xenophobia, and every person can only grow from attempting to become more inclusive and compassionate.
      --
      Univision's blog post on "Dream to Belong" can be found HERE and includes lyrics.
      --
      Scroll down to skip this intro and go directly to the TRANSCRIPT of Obama's interview...
      --
      On Feb 6 2012 Interview I gave an interview to Tim Paynter of Denver's 1150am radio. The first part of that interview was about our new song and the Dreamers and you can find it in my last post. In the second part I addressed questions about Obama and immigration reform and for those who don't speak Spanish, here is the gist of what I said:
      While volunteering in support of the DREAM Act, I've come across some supporters of immigration reform who are understandably frustrated that the law hasn't been passed yet but who are unjustly blaming President Obama. Let's not forget the facts. While Obama, Reid, Durbin and most of the Democrats continue to push for the DREAM Act, (98% of Dems voted to pass it), Republicans as a whole have blocked it in congress, and their candidates oppose it as well, with Romney explicitly declaring he'd veto it.  Through the "Morton Memo" the administration has tried to shift ICE's focus to deporting high-risk individuals and actual criminals instead of DREAMers, (resulting in a drop in deportations according to this story by the LA Times) sparing many who were in line for deportation and whose cases have been dropped, including several who I've volunteered for and with. I've seen this progress first hand and think it is important that DREAMers know they can appeal to ICE's  Prosecutorial Discretion as laid out by the administration and John Morton. However any president's constitutional limitations require support in congress to pass a federal law that would offer the DREAMERs a lasting path to citizenship. We need our allies in government to make the DREAM Act a reality and we need to keep acting marching and demonstrating peacefully, creating awareness and putting pressure on senators to vote for the DREAM Act. We have to pay attention to who is promoting anti-immigrant laws like HB 56 in Alabama and  SB 1070 in Arizona (Which Obama opposed). There are too many Republican politicians constantly taking anti-immigrant positions in every state, and we can stand with those who oppose them. By making sure we are doing all we can to strengthen the campaigns of senators who represent our ideals and trying to help them get elected we will also increase the number of votes in favor of immigration reform and will help those trying to  get it passed when it comes to the floor of the congress again. Here's the audio in Spanish:


      so that was Feb 6.

      On Feb 21, President Obama gave an interview to Piolin of Univision radio in which he tackled questions about his immigration reform promises (in similar terms to those I  used in my Feb 6 interview).  : http://univisionnews.tumblr.com/post/18103030750/obama-i-didnt-break-my-promise-on-immigration-reform





      "Marching into the Light" by Andres Useche