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Immigrants in Maine's Schools: An Overview of Immigration Law and Other Issues Affecting Students and Families. Beth Stickney, Esq. Executive Director, Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project November 22, 2010 Maine Department of Education ESL/Bilingual Programs
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Beth Stickney, Esq.
Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
November 22, 2010
Maine Department of Education ESL/Bilingual Programs
Professional development online webinar
provider of free & low-fee comprehensive
immigration law and related legal aid
Lewiston; toll-free access for Mainers far
from Portland at 800-497-8505
over 100 countries of origin, now living in
all 16 Maine counties
immigrants in Maine
undercount Maine’s immigrants
At the national level, the foreign-born population represented 12.5 percent of the total population in 2008, compared to 11.1 percent in 2000 and 7.9 percent in 1990.
In comparison, between 1990 and 2000, the foreign-born population changed from 36,296 to 36,691, an increase of 1.1 percent.
At the national level, between 1990 and 2000 the foreign-born population increased by 57.4 percent, and between 2000 and 2008 increased by 22.0 percent.
Migration Policy Institute/MPI Data Hub: MAINE Social & Demographic Characteristics
Immigration Policy Center / American Immigration Council
right to attend K-12 public schools,
regardless of immigration status
statuses will be described here
(may have or be eligible for a “work permit”)
card”- residency card)
fraudulent document, or with a nonimmigrant visa but
then stayed too long, or otherwise didn’t comply
w/visa. May or may not be in removal proceedings.
Often in “mixed status” households – spouse is
resident or citizen, has US citizen children, etc.
benefits the children are entitled to will cause
immigration problems (detection/denial of residency)
Includes tourists, students, temporary
workers. Concerns include:
year, and must pay tuition. If host family takes
guardianship so that student can attend w/o paying,
student will be barred for 5 years from extending or
receiving another visa (so could not, for example, get F-1
to attend US university for 5 years)
TPS allows certain people to stay and work in the
U.S. due to natural or civil crises in their home
countries. Usually have work permits.
ability to become permanent residents
Salvadorans, and some Haitians, Somalis and
Sudanese have TPS
Includes persons applying for asylum, persons
applying for permanent residency. May be in
removal proceedings. Concerns include:
approved for residency
resident family members at risk
safe, and whether and when they’ll be able to
be together again
Includes spouses and children of permanent residents,
married or over 21 year old children, and siblings of
U.S. citizens. Also sometimes employees petitioned
for by their employers.
family members at risk
start the final paperwork to immigrate – including,
does their family earn enough money – must earn
125% of the federal poverty guidelines.
Refugees apply for protection from outside the
U.S. Asylees do so from inside the U.S.
with/safety of, family members abroad
children, other family members
before residency granted
“Parolees” are people who don’t qualify for other
visas but are let in for humanitarian or national
interest reasons. Parolees in Maine sometimes
have status similar to refugees, or another status
altogether, but in any case can stay here as long
as parole status is unexpired and no other laws
are violated. Concerns include:
medical treatment, but need to survive between
May have gained residency through a variety of
ways. Concerns include:
immigrate, or to become a US citizen
US citizen, what impact will separation or
divorce have on status (especially immigrants
in domestic violence situations)
Generally, a person is eligible to apply for
naturalization to U.S. citizenship if s/he:
There are 4 general ways that people can
immigrate (get permanent residency) to the U.S.:
for spouses and unmarried offspring; citizens can
additionally file for married offspring, parents and
siblings) – long waiting lists apply for most relatives
available to individuals with at least a high school
education or skilled trade – one computerized entry
allowed each year.
(threshold income must be proven by U.S.
citizens or residents who want their
spouses/children etc. to immigrate)
example, no birth certificates are available from
Somalia to prove a parent/child relationship)
supporting family abroad etc.
system on immigration status (especially
parents concerned about their children
getting into trouble)
during hard times; not being cut off due to
welfare reform laws
required to attend, but can’t qualify for federal financial
aid if undocumented)
stopped by police and asked for their immigration papers
own immigration status – if they are in a status that
leads to citizenship eligibility, usually much easier for
them to become citizens than their parents because they
learn English more quickly etc. (but should NOT file
anything with Immigration if they’ve ever been had
contact with Police, until they’ve consulted an
there’s a grant that requires it)
school based on concern about
immigration status (unconstitutional)
student could attend for free if they take legal guardianship of the
student, advise them to consult with an experienced immigration
lawyer immediately (they could seriously prejudice the student by
even if you have become close to a family. Immigration applications
are far more complicated than just the questions on the forms
services are free or low-fee depending on income). If a family is
above ILAP’s income guidelines, we can refer to competent
attorneys. See www.ilapmaine.org for our intake hours.
release giving us permission to talk with you about them. We will
need you to fax this to us for our records.
309 Cumberland Avenue, Suite 201
PO Box 17917, Portland, ME 04112
780-1593 or 800-947-8505
Intake of new clients: Fridays 9:00-1:00,
In-person or by phone.