Today marks the fourth anniversary of when President Obama announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This program allows people who came to the United States as children to request deferred action and work authorization for a period of two years.
Over 600,000 people are estimated to have benefited from DACA. In November 2014, President Obama announced plans to expand DACA and create a similar program for parents. Under the existing DACA program, you must be under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012. Expanded DACA eliminates the age cap in place for the existing DACA program. Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) would enable certain parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to receive similar immigration benefits. However, these initiatives are still put on hold as this case has made its way to the Supreme Court. A decision is expected by the end of the month.
If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Obama Administration, expanded DACA could begin as early as a few weeks after the decision is rendered. DAPA, however, would take at least a few months to begin.
If the Supreme Court rules against the Obama Administration, DAPA and expanded DACA would remain blocked.
Regardless of what SCOTUS decides, people may still apply for immigration benefits under the original DACA program. To qualify, you must meet the following criteria:
- You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- You came to the U.S. before you turned 16;
- You have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 to present time;
- You were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and at the time of applying for DACA with USCIS;
- You had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
- You are currently in school
- You have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school
- You have obtained a GED certificate; or
- You are an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or Armed Forces; and
- You have not been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise post a threat to national security or public safety
Do you qualify for protection under DACA and want to apply? Have you already received DACA and need to renew? Contact us today to discuss your legal options. And connect with us on social media for the latest details on this case, immigration news, and other legal issues.