DACA (DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS)
The original Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was announced on June 15, 2012, is still available. Under this program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cannot deport certain youth, who came to the United States as children. In addition, these applicants, once qualified, would be eligible for a work-permit for two years, with the opportunity to renew. Children who qualify may still submit applications both as first time-applicants, and also to renew their expiring grant of DACA. To qualify one must establish the following requirements:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States when you were 15 years old, or younger;
- Have lived in the United States at least from June 15, 2007, or earlier, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for DACA;
- had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
On February 18, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security was supposed to start accepting applications for the expanded DACA program; however, a District Court judge temporarily enjoined the implementation the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The Department of Justice announced that they will appeal that temporary injunction. We will continue to follow the news related to this program, and will update our site promptly.
(DEFERRED ACTION FOR PARENTS OF AMERICANS AND LPRS)
After much anticipation, on November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a deferred action program for immigrant parents, now otherwise called DAPA. Under this program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is not deport certain immigrants, who are to be granted a very low enforcement priority, otherwise referred to as “deferred action.” In addition, once qualified under this program, those individual would also qualify for a work permit. Based on the preliminary guidelines, to qualify, those individuals had to meet the below criteria:
On November 20, 2014, had a US citizen, or lawful permanent resident, child; and • have continuously resided in the United States from January 1, 2010; and • Are not an enforcement priority for removal under the Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants Memorandum (in other words fingerprint security checks will not reveal a conviction of a significant misdemeanor, three or more misdemeanors, a felony, or an order of removal issued prior to January 1, 2014). This program was supposed to be in its first stage of implementation toward the middle/end of May 2015; sadly, it has currently been placed on hold, due to a lawsuit filed in a Federal District Court, where the judge in the case issued a temporary injunction preventing the implementation. However, until the case is heard on the merits, or until all appeals have been exhausted, there is still a significant chance that the program will at some point get implemented. Many clients have asked me if prior orders of removal would affect ones ability to apply. Under the limited guidelines above, it seems that only applicants who had orders of removal issued prior to January 1, 2014, would be ineligible. However, it can be speculated that if the prior removal case is reopened and then either administratively closed, or terminated, then that in effect would dispose of the removal, and would thus take away the ineligibility. What will the process involve? 1. Request for the applicant’s fingerprints, if arrested in the past, prepare official dispositions of all arrests; 2. Payment of an application fee to DHS – most likely $465; 3. Proof of identity of the applicant – copy of passport (national ID), copy of birth certificate; 4. Proof of identity of applicant’s US citizen/permanent resident child – copy of birth certificate; orders of filiation (orders regarding the paternity of the father) from family court would serve as well; 5. Proof of continuous physical presence from January 1, 2010 until present – copies of anything issued on applicant’s name with address in USA and a date (bank/credit card statements; utility bills; leases; phone bills; tickets; money transfer receipts; deeds; tax records, etc.) 6. Tax returns do not appear to be a per se requirement- however may be used as proof of physical presence.