On November 20, 2014, President Obama ordered by Executive Action the creation of a new program called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability or DAPA. This initiative will be implemented as early as May 2015 and provide deferred action to undocumented parents of US Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents.
What is Deferred Action?
Deferred Action is a form of prosecutorial discretion exercised by the government to not seek removal or deportation against a person presently in the United States. While Deferred Action does not provide lawful status or a pathway to permanent residence, it does authorize the individual’s presence in the US as well as enable him/her to apply for work authorization.
Who is Eligible?
DAPA relief will be available to people who can demonstrate that they:
· Have continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010
· Are the parents of a US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident born on or before November 20, 2014; and
· Are not an enforcement priority for removal under the new guidelines set forth in the new Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal Of Undocumented Immigrants Memorandum.
Even if an applicant satisfies the above criteria, it does not necessarily mean that he/she will be guaranteed or be entitled to DAPA status. Applications are granted on a case-by-case basis.
How Long is DAPA for?
Deferred Action will be granted for three years. In addition, those who receive deferred action under DAPA will be eligible to receive work authorization for a period of three years.
How Can Our Immigration Attorneys Help?
We can help you to evaluate whether you qualify for DAPA protection as well as assess the strength of your documentation. More importantly, we can help to identify issues that may complicate your eligibility as well as those that potentially expose you to further trouble. As soon as the forms become available, our office can help you to file for protection and receive work authorization.