Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

High school graduate dreamer...Almost a Dream

There are more students living illegally in the United States than you may at first suspect. Many have lived here most of their lives and consider the United States home. As Congress continues to debate immigration reform, the DACA (Deferred action for Childhood Arrivals) program has stopped accepting new applicants. It is not clear whether this popular program will be reinstated.

It is important to note that the Dream Act has not been passed. This is the law which would have allowed persons called "dreamers" who came into the United States illegally as minors, to stay in the U.S. provided they met certain other requirements. DACA is and was always a temporary benefit.

If Congress does not act, current beneficiaries of DACA may soon see their benefits evaporate leaving them in limbo and open to arrest and deportation by immigration authorities.

WHAT DACA OFFERED
You were elibible for DACA benfeits if:

* You entered the United States before age 16.
* You were present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and were under 31 years old on that date.
* You had no criminal history (One or two misdemeanors might have disqualified you)
* You had been in the United States at least 5 continuous years
* You had a high school degree or equivalent, were in school, or had served in the military and were honorably discharged.

Those qualified would be immune from deportation for two years and be able to apply for a work permit.These benefits could be renewed in two year increments and there was no limit on how many times these benefits could be renewed.

THE RISK
DACA is and was “deferred action.” No permanent benefits were ever offered. For those who have never been in trouble with the law and have lived under the radar, applying for DACA gave a big shout out to DHS saying, “Here I am.” Scary when you consider that if the petition was not approved, the applicant could get deported. Now that the program has been cancelled all DACA recipients are at risk for deportation.

NOW WHAT?
If you did not renew your DACA, never applied, or are a DACA recipient who is worried about their benefits. contact us for an appointment to see if you have any other avenues for relief. Immigration laws are always in flux, you may qualify for asylum, cancellation of removal, or some other benefit you may not be aware of.

 


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