On June 15, 2012, President Obama helped initiate a policy to enable certain undocumented young people to, on a renewable basis, obtain work authorization and be free from removal proceedings. Applications under this program, called Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) began on August 15, 2012.
Genesis Law Firm and its experienced immigration lawyers were among the first to provide legal representation to applicants in the DACA program. DACA represents a glimpse into the future of immigration law; it is a new and exciting program that will potentially enable thousands of undocumented immigrants to earn money legally, which will in turn enable them to comfortably support their families. It is important to note, however, that DACA does not currently provide a path to Lawful Permanent Residence or Citizenship.
The term “Deferred Action” refers to the act of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security actually “deferring” or postponing any “action” that otherwise could be taken on an immigrant’s removal proceedings.
In order to be eligible, an individual must meet seven basic requirements, and be able to prove through evidentiary documentation that each requirement is met. In addition, each applicant must undergo a biographical and biometric (e.g., fingerprinting) background check. Certain types of crimes will preclude an applicant from being granted relief under DACA.
If your DACA application is granted, you will be able to apply for “advance parole” which enables you to travel outside the United States with the ability to lawfully return. This presents an extraordinary opportunity for DACA applicants who have not seen their families outside the United States for years due to a fear of not being able to return. Note that during the pendency of your DACA application, you are not permitted to return to the United States if you leave; your DACA application must be granted and advance parole must be granted before this benefit is acquired.
Finally, DACA is a type of discretionary relief, and it may be revoked at any time. The risks of applying for DACA are primarily those having to do with the potential consequences of a denial.
If you believe you may be eligible for relief under DACA, or if you simply have questions about the process and eligibility requirements, contact Genesis Law Firm for an evaluation of your case. Our experienced immigration lawyers in the Everett and Seattle area implement cost-saving technologies which translate into significantly lower prices than other law firms. We offer free Mandarin Chinese interpretation upon request.