As a Miami immigration lawyer, I read with gratification the news coverage on immigrants and pro-immigration activists traveling overnight to Washington, D.C., where the U.S. Supreme Court will hear begin hearing arguments about President Barack Obama’s controversial effort to shield from deportation about five million undocumented immigrants. The hearing will address President Obama’s executive actions in 2014 pertaining to DAPA and DACA. Both programs grant temporary protection from deportation for parents of children who are citizens or legal residents. Below are some frequently asked questions.
What is DAPA?
DAPA stands for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. It is an immigration policy which would grant deferred action status to certain undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States since 2010 and have children who are American citizens or lawful permanent residents. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.
Does DAPA mean that the immigration authorities are giving out green cards?
No. Deferred action is not full legal status, but in this case would come with a three-year, renewable work permit and exemption from deportation. Again, if you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.
Who is eligible for DAPA?
To be eligible for DAPA, a person must:
- Have lived in the United States without interruption since January 1, 2010
- Have been physically present in the United States on November 20, 2014 (the date the program was announced)
- Be physically present in the United States when applying to the program
- Have lacked lawful immigration status on November 20, 2014
- Have had, as of November 20, 2014, a child who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or three or more other misdemeanors, and not “otherwise pose a threat to national security or be an enforcement priority for removal.”
If you have any questions in regard to eligibility, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.
What is DACA?
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an immigration policy that allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. DACA does confer non-immigrant legal status but does not provide a path to citizenship. It was started by the Obama administration in June 2012.
In November 2014, President Obama announced changes to DACA which would expand it to include illegal immigrants who entered the country before 2010, eliminate the requirement that applicants be younger than 31 years old, and lengthen the renewable deferral period to two years. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.
Who is eligible for DACA?
- Came to the United States before 16th birthday
- Have lived continuously in the United States since 15 June 2007
- Were under age 31 on 15 June 2012
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012
- Have completed high school or a GED, have been honorably discharged from the armed forces or the Coast Guard, or are enrolled in school
- Have not been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanors, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
Again, if you have any questions in regard to eligibility for DACA, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.
If you have would like to learn more about DAPA or DACA, please contact Miami immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at murraysilva.com.