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A Closer Look at Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Help for DREAM Applicants

Certain young immigrants can be protected from deportation for two years at a time through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a policy created by the Obama administration in June of 2012. On top of being shielded from the removal process for two years, those whose DACA application is accepted will also receive a work permit. To apply, you would need to fill out Form I-821D, as well as Form I-765 and a worksheet known as Form I-765WS.

Who can apply for DACA protection?

To be eligible to apply for this, you must be able to prove that you:

  • Were 30 years old or younger on June 15, 2012
  • Were 15 years old or younger when you first lived in the United States
  • Have been living in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 until now (only interrupted by short visits outside the country)
  • Were inside of the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and on the day you applied for DACA
  • Came into the U.S. without inspection before June 15, 2012, or with inspection but your visa or immigration status expired by June 15, 2012
  • Are attending school, have graduated, or have earned a certificate of completion from an accredited high school or a GED certificate, OR you are a veteran who has been honorably discharged from the U.S. Coast Guard or Armed Forces
  • Do not have a conviction of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or more than two misdemeanors on your record, and do not pose a threat to the public's safety (such as by gang membership)

Each and every single of the above items must be true of an applicant. Immigrants who qualify for this protection are often called "DREAMers", as this policy was first a stopgap measure to the DREAM Act. DACA only provides temporary protection, which can be renewed every two years, but immigration law can be subject to sudden changes.

Obama's Executive Action: Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA)

In 2014, President Obama took courageous and important steps toward reforming our broken immigration system. In an effort to keep children unified with their parents—without deporting innocent children—deferred action for parental accountability (DAPA) of U.S. citizens allows the parents of citizens and lawful permanent residents an opportunity to avoid deportation for the sake of their children.

To be eligible for protection under DAPA, the applicant must:

  • Not be a removal priority under the new policy;
  • Have been in the U.S. for at least 5 years;
  • Have children who, on the date of the executive announcement, are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents; and
  • Present no other factors that would make a grant of deferred action inappropriate

Have more questions about DACA? Speak with a Houston immigration lawyer today.

Before you apply for DACA, you should talk with an experienced Houston immigration lawyer to learn if applying for DACA is the right action for you. If your DACA application is denied, you could be running some serious risks, including the risk of deportation in the future. That being said, getting relief from DACA can open numerous opportunities, including the opportunity to be safe from removal proceedings while being able to work inside the U.S.

To learn more about what it takes to qualify for this protection, and to find out what documents you need to prove that you qualify for this deferred action, do not hesitate to schedule your initial consultation with Hira Law PLLC. You can find the legal advice you deserve with our Houston immigration attorney. Call us today!

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