New President Obama Programs
DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
The President has issued an order granting three year temporary protection with authorization to work for three years and the possibility of receiving travel permission outside the United States (upon grant of the DACA approval). In order to be eligible for this form of relief one must: (1) have continuously resided in the United States since January 1, 2010; (2) be enrolled in school, graduated high school, obtained a GED certificate or in the process of obtaining one; (3) not have a conviction for a “serious” misdemeanor or any felony. If you believe that you qualify please contact our office to schedule an appointment. If you have a criminal conviction or other issue which you need to discuss then please contact our office to schedule an appointment to discuss with Mr. Finnegan.
To qualify for the expanded DACA, the applicant must show that:
- Came to US before reaching their 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the US since January 1, 2010 up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the US on June 15, 2012, and at the time of requesting consideration for deferred action;
- Had NO LAWFUL STATUS;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate from high school, have obtained GED certificate, OR, are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; AND,
- Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not pose a threat to national security or public policy.
DAPA – Deferred Action for Parent Accountability
The President has issued and order granting three year temporary protection with a three year work permit for those individuals who are parents of US citizens and/or greencard holders. The parent must have been in the United States US citizen children must be born in the United States on or before November 20, 2014 in order to qualify the parents for DAPA. The parent cannot have been convicted of a “serious” misdemeanor or any felony. Must pay US taxes.
Similar to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Deferred Action for Parents of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) is another new program that President Obama has recently released. Undocumented individuals living in the United States who did not enter into the United States legally, may now be eligible for work authorization if they (1) have continuously lived here in the U.S. since January 1, 2010, (2) are parents of a U.S. citizen or green card holder who was born on or before November 20, 2014, and (3) are not in removal proceedings. Again, keep in mind that DAPA does not provide for legal status in this country but it does protect you from being deported, and also allows the applicant to be eligible for a 3 year work authorization. With work authorization, one may obtain a legitimate job, a social security number, and driver’s license.
PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION for those with Deportation Orders
If you have been ordered deported or ordered removed by an Immigration Court you may be eligible for prosecutorial discretion. If you are currently in removal court proceedings you may apply for prosecutorial discretion in an effort to halt your removal from the United States. Strong factors are required. An applicant needs to have been present in the United States for (at least) several years and have strong positive factors such as legal family members living in the United States.
If you are currently in removal proceedings, you may request for Prosecutorial Discretion (P.D.). Because the Department of Homeland Security and its immigration components are limited on resources and unable to respond to each and every immigration violation, the option of requesting for P.D. is available for those who qualify. Although qualification is ultimately at the prosecutor’s discretion, factors that may increase one’s chances in attaining P.D. include that: (1) the individual does not pose a threat to national security, (2) the individual has been in the United States for over 10 years, (3) the individual suffers from serious medical conditions, (4) the individual has a U.S. citizen family member(s), and (5) is pursuing higher education. Prosecutorial Discretion does not terminate your proceedings, but it does put your case and any associated court proceedings on hold. If you have been granted work authorization, you may renew your work permit, and either you or the government can decide to reopen the case at any time.
PROVISIONAL WAIVER – I-601A waiver for unlawful entry
Those people who are either married to US citizen spouses or have children who are US citizens and over the age of 21 but have been unable to file for adjustment of status to that a lawful permanent resident (greencard). There is now a waiver available to cure the deficiency in the law that closed the pathway to greencard status. Those individuals who entered the United States or who cannot prove that they entered the United States with a legal visa are now eligible to apply for the provisional waiver. The provisional waiver will allow the person to apply for the waiver while waiting inside the United States. Once the family petition and the waiver case are approved by the US government the applicant is eligible for immigrant visa processing for lawful permanent resident status (greencard).
SPOUSES and CHILDREN OF US MILITARY MEMBERS
If you are the spouse or child of an active or recently discharged United States military member you may be eligible for “deferred action” or other forms of relief. Military family members will receive a special 50% discount off their attorney fee at Finnegan & Diba.** If you or your family member is an active military member then please contact Finnegan & Diba for your free consultation to ascertain what immigration programs and relief are available for your family.
** Does not include I-360 cases