New Jersey DACA Lawyer for DREAMERS
Since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program came out in 2012, it has allowed thousands of “dreamers”—individuals who entered the country at a young age and have grown up here—to apply for protected status and work authorization. Since the program came out, it has been the subject of hotly contested litigation and nearly ended by the Trump Administration.
Fortunately, within hours after assuming office, President Biden issued a memorandum directing the Department of Homeland Security to take measures to preserve and fortify the program. Additionally, there has recently been a series of favorable court decisions that allow qualified individuals to not only renew their DACA status and work permits, but also apply for the first time if they missed out on applying for deferred status initially. See United States District Court Order of December 7, 2020. Additionally, on his first day, President Biden released his immigration bill titled The US Citizenship Act of 2021. Under this proposal—which is not law– individuals with DACA status would be able to apply for permanent residence immediately.
Under the latest District Court Order, USCIS is currently
- Accepting initial or first-time requests for DACA based on the program in effect prior to September 5, 2017
- Accepting DACA renewal requests based on the DACA program in effect prior to September 5, 2017
- Accepting advance parole documents based on DACA policy prior to September 5, 2017
- Extending one-year grants of DACA to two years
- Extending one-year DACA employment authorization to two-year terms
In order to qualify for deferred status under DACA, an applicant must meet certain criteria. An applicant may request DACA if the individual:
- Was under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012;
- Entered the US before the age of 16;
- Has continuously resided in the US since June 15, 2007 up to the present time;
- Was physically present in the US on June 15, 2012 and at the time of making the request for DACA;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate (GED), or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the US; and
- Has not been convicted of any felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
Individuals with criminal arrests (even for serious traffic tickets like DWI), prior removal or deportation orders, absences from the United States, as well as those who may have entered the country through fraud or misrepresentation should definitely consider consulting with an attorney. Our office can help you identify and solve important legal issues that can impact your long-term future here in the United States.