EXECUTIVE ACTION – DAPA, DACA AND IMMIGRATION REFORM
One of the biggest changes to our Nation´s immigration system was announced by President Obama on November 20th, 2014. The President´s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions will allow millions of undocumented immigrants to obtain work authorization. These changes also increase the opportunities for undocumented immigrants who arrived as children through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program while also initiating the Deferred Action for Parent of children who are green card holders or U.S. Citizens (DAPA)
The initial application date has not been set, but according to the President, USCIS will begin accepting applications at some point in early 2015, but benefits will not be available until April 2015. However, if you believe that you may be eligible for one or more of the initiatives you should start gathering all related documents that establish your identity and your relationship to a US Citizen or lawful permanent resident and show that you have lived in the US for 5 years or more.
The following is a list of the 5 things you should be aware of regarding the President´s recent Executive Actions regarding immigration:
Eligible immigrants will have the opportunity to request temporary relief from deportation and work authorization if they come forward and pass criminal and national security background checks, pay their taxes, pay a fee, and show that they are:
- A parent of US citizens or lawful permanent residents on the date of the announcement, are not enforcement priorities and have been in the US since January 1,2010, or
- An individual who arrived in the US before turning 16 years old and before January 1, 2010, regardless of how old they are today.
Additionally, the time that families are separated while obtaining their green cards will be reduced. Undocumented immigrants who are immediate relatives of lawful permanent residents or sons or daughters of US citizens can apply to get a waiver if a visa is available.
The initial application date has not been set, but according to the President, USCIS will begin accepting applications at some point in early 2015, but benefits will not be available until April 2015. However, if you believe that you are eligible for one or more of the initiatives, you should start gathering all related documents that establish your identity, relationship to a US Citizen or lawful permanent resident and show that you have lived in the US for 5 years or more.
You must have been in the US for at least 5 years to qualify for these programs. These executive actions will not benefit immigrants who recently crossed the border (defined as those who entered the country after January 1, 2014), who may cross the border in the future, or who help those who cross in the future, but rather immigrants who have been living in the United States for years. The President’s actions increase the chances that anyone attempting to cross the border illegally today will be caught and then sent back.
USCIS will review each case very carefully. As with other immigration requests, knowingly misrepresenting or failing to disclose facts will subject applicants to criminal prosecution and possible removal from the United States.
Many people offer help with immigration services. Unfortunately, not all are authorized or qualified to do so. While many of these unauthorized practitioners mean well, all too many of them are out to rip you off.
Make sure you remain informed and know when the application process starts. www.uscis.gov will be the authoritative source of information about eligibility and applications going forward. You can also contact your Miami Immigration Law Firm, Franchise Visa USA, for a free consultation to review your case and the best possible actions.
Summary of Benefits of the Executive Order:
The beneficiaries of these programs are eligible to obtain:
- Protection from deportation.
- Work Authorization.
- Driver’s licenses in states that allow it.
- Permission to travel abroad under certain conditions (with prior permission from USCIS)
Limitations of the Executive Order:
- The legal status is only temporary and must be renewed according to the provisions of the law.
- No permanent residence and no pathway to citizenship have been established.
- Does not extend benefits to the families of beneficiaries.
- No access to any public assistance program or federal aid.