Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”)

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DACA: Helping Young Immigrants Become a Part of American Society

The Obama Administration, in an effort to help young people who came to the United States at a young age, not knowing what was happening, has issued an Executive Order, implementing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. This program is commonly referred to as the DACA program.

Those who demonstrate that they meet certain guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals for a period of two years, subject to renewal. Those accepted into the DACA program will be able to have Employment/Work Authorization Cards issued, apply for social security numbers, attend schools of higher education, such as colleges, technology schools, community colleges and universities, can seek permission to drive in the United States, can pay takes and, for lack of a better phrase – those approved are legally in the United States during the term of the DACA approval.

The DACA program is new. It has not been litigated. Many, quite honestly, are uncertain as to how broad the DACA program is and whether they actually qualify. In other words, the requirements are not simple requirements that can be met after a day or two of research. The DACA process, while appearing to be simple, is far from easy to complete. A substantial amount of information must be gathered, including letters, school records, affidavits, federal and state tax transcripts, criminal and immigration record evalutations and specific dates must be verified and well documented. Also, depending on your individual circumstances, other evidence, explanations, briefs and evaluations may need to be submitted.

On a very basic level, to be approved for the DACA program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • You came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  • You have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 until the present time;
  • You were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012;You were physically present in the United States at the time you file your DACA application;
  • You entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or, your lawful immigrant or non-immigrant status (if you entered as a visitor, for business, etc.), expired as of June 15, 2012;
  • You are currently enrolled in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a certificate of completion from high school, you are in school obtaining a general education development (GED) certificate, you already have a GED certificate, or you have been honorably discharged from the United States Coast Gaurd or the United States Armed Forces;
  • You have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor ort three or more other misdemeanors; and
  • You do not pose a threat to national security or to the safety of the American people.

The qualifications seem easy to meet, but, it is important that you understand that each qualification requires individual evidence and review. Rather than attempt to secure DACA alone, contact us to speak to an Immigration Attorney. In doing so, you will have the opportunity to discuss what possible issues you may face when applying for DACA, how your attorneys would handle those issues. It is better to submit a full DACA application package, where every possible issue is addressed, rather than raise red flags along the way, which will lead to prolonged processing of your DACA application or its outright denial. Also, when reviewing your case, your attorney will also review what other forms of immigration relief (prevention from deportation) for which you may also qualify.

Your consultation is confidential. Tell us your story and we will find your way. Call (888) 440-4872 today.