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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Cases

Effective June 15, 2012 a certain child arrival who came to the U.S. (without inspection) can request for deferred action from removal proceddings, if several key guidelines are met, for a period of 2 years, subject to renewal. This temporary status does not confer legal status to be a permanent resident. It is more like a stay of any pending actions.

Upon receipt of Deferred Action, work authorization is permitted, which also may need to be renewed. Currently, the USCIS filing fees will approximate $465.00.

The request for DACA will also require biometrics, a background check and an interview before the USCIS.

It is strongly recommended that an attorney be retained to prepare and process this application, to ensure that all necessary accompanying documentation is attached and to attend all USCIS interviews. Because anything done incorrectly can lead to a denial and there is no available Motion to Reopen/Reconsider or Appeal. Your filing fees and chance to stay in America are gone.

If there are ancillary problems such as a bogus passport or green card, criminal record, incorrect or fake Social Security number that was used, unauthorized work, having voted or failed to pay taxes on earned or unearned income, the result at the interview could lead to arrest and being placed into Removal Proceedings.

An attorney well versed in these matters can sort this out before filing, clarify confusion and often avoid these pitfalls. An attorney can even file for Deferred Action if you are already in Removal Proceedings! Remember, "with immigration nothing is as easy as it first appears". (sm)

To meet the initial guidelines for application proof must show you;

  • Were under age 31 as of June 15, 2012,
  • Came into the U.S. before reaching your 16th birthday,
  • Have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 17, 2007, up to the present time. Your attorney can help with any sporadic absence,
  • Were physically present in the U.S. on June 17, 2007 and at the time of filing your request for DACA,
  • Entered the U.S. without any inspection, at the border, before June 15, 2012 or your lawful immigration status expired (became an overstay) as of June 15, 2012,
  • Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have a General Education Development (GED) Certificate or are a honorably discharged veteran of the Armed forces or Coast Guard of the U.S. Your attorney can discuss your eligibility, if your schooling is not yet completed, and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more general misdemeanors, a gang member and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety. Retaining an attorney to clarify these matters is essential because different states and local jurisdictions have varying laws and he/she can advise you on the ramification of the expunging of criminal records.

An extensive amount of documentation must be submitted with the request to substantiate all of the initial guideline requirements. Sometimes this involves contacting foreign governments and sending Freedom of Information Requests (FOIR) to Federal, state and local agencies before filing.

Finally, often the Deferred Action is a gateway to obtaining other benefits such as a professional license, commercial or regular driver's license, valid social security number, work authorization and travel document to legally leave and return to the U.S. Also, in emergency or desperation certain aid such as, welfare, food stamps, child care and the like may be available. Therefore, it is critical to get knowledgeable legal representation to sort this all out before filing your DACA request.

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