Update for DACA Renewals April 9, 2014 from USCIS

Today, April 9th of 2014, USCIS published updates regarding renewal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications for those of us (the majority of applicants) who applied through USCIS. Read more at the USCIS official site: www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-process

Key points to note:

  • In late May 2014, USCIS anticipates publishing a new dual-use Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, to allow for both initial and renewal requests, and updating Frequently Asked Questions with additional information.
  • File the revised version of Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, together with Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and I-765WS, Worksheet, as in the initial filing. The forthcoming version of Form I-821D will be dual-use for both initial and renewal filers and will contain modified questions pertaining to each situation. The draft form is currently going through the Federal Register public comment process  and is not yet available for use.
  • Do not file the current version of Form I-821D to renew.
  • Submit your DACA renewal request package approximately 120 days (or 4 months) before your current period of DACA expires. This is also the date that your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) expires. While USCIS will continue to accept filings after this date, it will not accept requests made earlier than 150 days (or 5 months) before that expiration date.You only need to submit new documents pertaining to removal proceedings or criminal history that you have not already submitted to USCIS.
  • You do not need to re-submit documents you already submitted with your previous DACA request that was approved. However, you should keep copies of all documents that support how you meet the DACA guidelines so you can provide them if they are requested by USCIS.

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Participate & help spread the word- “UndocuScholars” online survey

Are you undocumented and currently completing your undergraduate studies?

Consider participating in the UndocuScholars survey project- a national survey led by Dr.Robert Teranishi, Dr. Carola Suarez-Orozco, and the research team. The survey focuses on the college experiences of undergraduate undocumented students. Read more about the project here: http://www.undocuscholars.org/about-1.html

The survey is confidential and takes about 30 minutes to complete online. In recognition of your time you will receive a $20 Amazon gift card.

The goals of the program include:

- Expanding knowledge about the range of undocumented students’ experiences in order to challenge false assumptions and damaging misperceptions;

- Use this knowledge to better inform on-campus practice and services as well as local and national policy.

To learn more about the project, participate, and find helpful resources, check out the official website: http://www.undocuscholars.org/home-1.html

Submitting my official intent to enroll at Harvard University


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Step 1- Open online form.

Not a day passes by that I don’t take the time to reflect on the experiences and challenges my loved ones continue to go through. Just yesterday I was thinking about my family in particular and the dreaded, yet necessary, day of my brother’s upcoming surgery. Earlier today, I was participating in an interview sharing my story and status with a current graduate student. About an hour ago, I was again thinking about my loved ones as I submitted my official intent to enroll at Harvard.

Step 2. Click "I ACCEPT", followed by complete additional information.

Step 2- Click “I ACCEPT”, followed by complete additional information.

Today, I find myself coming to terms with my decision to attend Harvard for my Ph.D. starting this Fall 2014. As an undocumented womyn of color it is nowhere near easy to make such a decision. For weeks I have talked with several mentors, my family, partner, and friends about which program to choose. And although each day I got closer and closer to my answer, it did not get any easier. Two days ago I still found myself worrying about how I will be able to help my family financially and emotionally while I am on the other side of the country. Like certainly not all, but many, womyn of color have experienced- I, too, feel guilty about physically leaving my loved ones.

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In the midst of completing my form, wishing that one day there will be an option for “I am undocumented” and there will be a process to better assist you from the day you decided to apply to the day you graduate.

The tremendous and continuous support from my family, partner, friends, mentors, and community pushes me beyond the fear and into the best decision I can make not only for myself, but for my loved ones and students to come after me. It is my hope that this decision will open new opportunities for my community and self. Although I am aware that this new stage will come with its many ups and downs, I am ready to embark on this journey for all of those who have fought and supported me so that I one day am able to begin my doctoral studies.

Step 4- Submit.

Step 4- Submit.

For now, I have the rest of today to enjoy beautiful sunny San Diego and about 5 months to emotionally and financially prepare to move to Boston.

Immigrant Justice Corps-Community Fellowship applications available!

Community Fellowships are available to students who are completing their undergraduate degrees in the 2013-2014 academic year. They will be placed in community-based host organizations, which will be selected to participate in the IJC on the basis of competitive RFPs.

They will be supported by the IJC and many will become accredited representatives of the Board of Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 1.34.39 PMImmigration Appeals (BIA) and will conduct outreach and represent community members on a range of cases such as naturalization applications, deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), and other matters that can be managed by a non-lawyer until the point of final submission and review. The IJC’s 3 on-staff attorneys will closely supervise Community Fellows and “ride circuit” to host sites to review cases and ensure quality control.

Applications become available April 1, 2014 and are due by 11:59pm on May 1, 2014.

Find more information at IJC’s official website: http://justicecorps.org/fellowship/#community

Application available online at: http://justicecorps.org/apply/

Scholarship opportunity: La Unidad Latina Foundation

If you are an undergraduate or Master’s student and looking for scholarship opportunities, keep La Unidad Latina Foundation in mind. La Unidad Latina Foundation provides educational scholarships to Hispanic students on a competitive basis and range from $250 to $1000.


  • Undergraduate applicants should have a cumulative GPA above 2.80 out of a 4.0  GPA Scale. Cumulative GPAs below 2.80 do not qualify for a scholarship.
  • Currently enrolled in an eligible bachelor’s or master’s degree program at an accredited four-year college or university. Eligible Degrees: all Bachelor degrees and Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Public Administration/Policy, Master of Social Work, Master of Education, and Master of Divinity.
  • Completed at least one full-time year of study for undergraduate applicants, and at least one full-time semester of study for graduate applicants.
  • Must reside in the United States.

Fall deadline: October 15, 2014

*** Applications are only accepted within the 45-day period prior to the deadline.

For the scholarship application and more details, check out: http://www.lulfoundation.org/Portals/0/ApplicationForms/2014ScholarshipApplication.pdf

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I am starting my Ph.D. in Education at Harvard this Fall 2014!

May 2013 M.A. in Sociology graduation cap

May 2013 M.A. in Sociology graduation cap

After over a month of learning about and choosing between UC Santa Barbara, Columbia, and Harvard, I have decided to enroll at Harvard this year. This is the beginning of a 5 year trajectory I am very happy and excited to be sharing with you all.

I am extremely thankful for my loved ones/support network- family, partner, friends, mentors/Professors, and community members. Without them it would have not been possible to go from being born in Mexicali, living in the U.S. undocumented, going through many ups and downs as a young womyn of color, and now- ready to pursue my Ph.D. Many thank you’s from my heart <3.

Over 700 applicants, and I am one of 30 that have been admitted into the first Ph.D. in Education cohort at Harvard. As an undocumented and low-income Latina, this is a huge accomplishment. Unfortunately, because I have made it to Harvard does not necessarily mean anyone can make it. There are structures and ideologies designed to keep people of color out of higher educational institutions, even more so from Ivy Leagues. Attending Harvard though does give me the necessary tools to help pave the path for future generations to come of first generation, undocumented, low-income, and students of color. While attending Harvard and pursuing my doctorate degree will be challenging in multiple ways, I will hang in there.

My love, passion, courage, and strength come from my community. My community keeps me grounded. My family, partner, friends, and mentors have made a huge impact in my life. I can only hope to give back by continuing to help my community in any way that I can; through writing, teaching, organizing, researching, and at the foundation of it all- loving.



Graduate application support: Institute for Recruitment of Teachers

If you are interested in applying to graduate school, check out the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers

From early September through mid-November, all participants receive the following support throughout the graduate school application process at no charge, which include:

  • Individualized support and extensive counseling as you choose graduate programs and apply to a renowned consortium of graduate schools across the country
  • Application fee waivers
  • Assistance in fine-tuning statements of purpose, resumes, and writing samples
  • Approximately two months and $1000 saved on completing at least 10 applications
  • Invitation to participate in IRT’s annual Recruiters’ Weekend, attended by more than 60 academic deans and graduate admissions representatives from consortium institutions

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 6.03.11 PM Additionally, the IRT sponsors a summer workshop for 25-30 students who apply to the program during their junior or senior years of college. 

During the summer workshop, students engage a graduate-level curriculum of critical, cultural and educational theory. Students also prepare for the GRE and work on their statements of purpose. In mid-July, the IRT hosts its annual Recruiters’ Weekend for all students where deans and admissions representatives from consortium institutions are eager to speak with potential candidates about their graduate programs. Summer workshop participants receive a $1,200 stipend, travel expenses (for those traveling by plane or train), and room and board.

Application deadline is April 1, 2014!

Eligibility requirements-

  • Intern Summer Workshop:
    Applicants must be rising or graduating college seniors.
  • Associate Program:
    Applicants must be rising college seniors, college graduates, or currently or previously enrolled in a Master’s degree program. 
  • All Applicants Must:
    1. For undergraduates, have earned a grade point average of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale); and for graduate students, have earned a grade point average of 3.5 or above (on a 4.0 scale).
    2. Have an undergraduate or Master’s degree major in mathematics, social sciences, humanities, education or computer science;
    3. Demonstrate a commitment to eradicating racial disparities in education;
    4. Demonstrate an interest in serving as a positive role model to youth;
    5. Submit a complete application by April 1.

To apply online and for more information about the application requirements, visit the official website: http://www.andover.edu/SummerSessionOutreach/IFROTeachers/Pages/ApplyOnline.aspx