While many of the specific details of President Obama’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions are still being worked on, one of its most significant components will be the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). Here are three things you need to know about this new immigration initiative:
It Will Impact 3.7 Million People
It is estimated that at least 3.7 million of the undocumented immigrants living in the United States may potentially qualify for this proposed immigration initiative. Essentially, the new DAPA program would offer deportation reprieve and work authorization to the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
Not All Parents Will Be Eligible
In order to qualify for DAPA, these individuals must (i) have been continuously present in the United States since January 1, 2010; (ii) had, on November 20, 2014, a child who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; (iii) pass background checks; (iv) are not an enforcement priority for removal under the November 20, 2014, Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants Memorandum (“DHS November 20, 2014 Memo”). This last prong will be one to cause the most hiccups for people. If a person falls within any of the stated DHS enforcement priorities (i.e. people suspected of terrorism, gang associations, certain immigration law violators, etc.) in the DHS November 20, 2014 Memo, then that person will not qualify for DAPA.
Applications Are Still Not Being Accepted
The DAPA application is not yet available to the public. Notwithstanding, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is scheduled to begin accepting DAPA applications around May 19, 2015. The filing fee will be $465, which will cover the adjudication costs and a required background check. More importantly, individuals who think they may be eligible for this program may prepare now by gathering documentation that establishes factors such as their:
- Relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; and
- Continuous residence in the United States over the last five years or more.
Again, many of the specific details regarding how things will work are still unknown. In light of this ever evolving area, individuals are well advised to seek the advice of counsel before blindly navigating the proposed immigration initiative. Our firm is available to assist you with your immigration needs. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide our readers updates as more details become available.
For more information, please contact Maria del Carmen Ramos at 813.227.2252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.