What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability?


If you have been in the United States without leaving since January 1, 2010, entered the U.S. before turning 16, or have a child who is a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident and meet other requirements, Deferred Action may be right for you! On Thursday November 20, 2014, President Obama announced that he will stop deporting two groups of immigrants who meet certain requirements:

  1. Revising the categories for young immigrants that program is known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA); and
  2. Parents of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents referred to as Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA).

President Obama said these programs, DACA and DAPA, is a direct response to our broken immigration system and will temporarily eliminate the threat of deportation for three years. During those three years, those who qualify for DACA or DAPA will get employment authorization.  They can then apply for a social security number, driver’s license, and permission to travel to their native country.

What is Deferred Action?

Deferred action is a decision to postpone removal (deportation) during the three year program period. It does not give any lawful status. If approved, you will not accrue unlawful presence in the United States while the program is in effect, however, deferred action does not forgive any prior or subsequent unlawful presence. If you show an economic necessity for employment, you will receive employment authorization during the program. Deferred action can be terminated at any time at the agency’s discretion or non-renewed by the agency.

How do I Qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals? 

In order to be eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals you must:

  1. Have come to the U. S. before you were 16;
  2. Have continuously lived in the U. S. since January 1, 2010;
  3. Were in U.S. on June 15, 2012;
  4. Were in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, without lawful status;
  5. Are currently in school, graduated from high school, received a GED, or are a honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed forces; and
  6. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more misdemeanors, and are not a threat to national security or public safety.

You will also have to complete a background check. It is imperative that you discuss this matter with a qualified New Jersey immigration attorney. Before you apply, be certain that you qualify!

How do I Qualify for Deferred Action for Parental Accountability?

In order to be eligible for Deferred Action for Parents you must:

  1. Have continuously lived in the U. S. since January 1, 2010;
  2. Have a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident child;
  3. Were in U.S. on November 20, 2014;
  4. Were in the U.S. on November 20, 2014, without lawful status; and
  5. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more misdemeanors, and are not a threat to national security or public safety.

You will also have to complete a background check. It is imperative that you discuss this matter with a qualified New Jersey immigration attorney. Before you apply, be certain that you qualify!

If I Qualify for Deferred Action, what do I Get?

If you prove an economic necessity, you will get work authorization. This is not new to immigration law. While living in the United States people must have a way to support themselves. You will also be eligible to apply for a social security card, a driver’s license, and automobile insurance. You can also apply for Advance Parole which will let you visit your native country.  The program is individual to you. What this means is every person must apply for themselves. For example, if your wife is granted deferred action, neither you nor your children would automatically receive any benefit. You would have to separately apply for yourself or your kids.

What kind of documents will I need to apply?

You will need: financial records, medical records, school records, employment records, military records, your birth certificate (translated into English), a full copy of your passport, and at least two passport photographs. You will also need a certified driver’s abstract and a criminal background check.

When can I apply for DACA or DAPA?

At the moment you can’t apply.  A court has temporarily stopped the implementation of the the DACA and DAPA program.  That decision is being appealed.  Other courts have found in favor of this program, but it only takes one decision to temporarily stop it.  In the meantime you should gather the necessary documents and make sure that you fix any prior criminal, tax, or child support issues that may prevent you from qualigying for this program.

This is important.  So far the applications have not even been provided.  Don’t be a victim of fraud!

Do you have questions about about qualifying or applying for the new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or Deferred Action for Parents? Contact our Long Branch and Lakewood immigration attorneys for a free consultation at 888-695-6169. We are fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Hebrew.

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