DACA Initiative – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (originally posted 8/15/2012)
To Whom Does DACA apply?
DACA is for children that were brought to the United States illegally by their parents or their legal status was terminated before June 15, 2012. They were (at the time of this original posting) eligible to apply for a limited time for “DACA.”
What is DACA?
“Deferred action” is a discretionary decision of the Department of Homeland Security not to pursue enforcement against a person for a specific period. In this case it’s two years. After that, nothing is guaranteed.
What is DACA not?
DACA is NOT AN AMNESTY.
What does a person have to do to be eligible for DACA?
To be eligible to apply for DACA, an individual must demonstrate that:
1) they were under 31 as of June 15, 2012;
2) they came to the US before reaching his/her 16th birthday;
3) they have continuously resided in the US since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
4) they were physically present in the US on June 15, 2012, and at the time of application to USCIS;
5) they entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or their lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
6) they are currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, has obtained a GED, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the US Coast Guard or the US Armed Forces; and
7) they have not been convicted of a felony, a “significant misdemeanor”, three or more other misdemeanors, or does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Is it okay to apply for DACA without an attorney?
It is our strong opinion that no one should apply for this status before consulting with an immigration attorney for the following reasons:
1) immigration law is a highly specialized legal field, very complex, and the legal language is subject to interpretation. Only an attorney is equipped to find the right interpretation through legal research and other resources;
2) if an individual does not qualify, he/she exposes herself and even his/her family to deportation;
3) be aware of “notarios” or any other non-lawyer offering to help and promising guaranteed results because there have been unfortunate situations when these people have ruined lives, even when they did it with good intention.
Call us today to receive the guidance you need at: (678) 615-8529.