Executive Action Update (DACA and DAPA)
A Federal Judge in Texas has issued a temporary injunction that will delay the implementation of President Obama's expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative that was supposed to begin February 18, 2015, and may also affect his new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program that is supposed to begin accepting applications in May. Here is what you need to know:
- There are 3 separate Deferred Action programs: (a) the original DACA; (b) expanded DACA (which removed the 31 year old age restriction for DACA applicants and only required the applicant to have entered the U.S. before January 1, 2010); and (c) DAPA (for parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents).
- Those granted DACA already are in NO WAY affected by this ruling. DACA recipients should renew their DACA as planned.
- The only programs affected are DAPA and the expanded DACA.
- Because of this ruling, Federal government will not be able to begin accepting applications under the expanded DACA guidelines which was scheduled to begin February 18, 2015.
- We are confident that the Federal Court of Appeals will remove the injunction in the near future and that those who qualify under the expanded DACA program will soon be able to apply.
- The government was scheduled to begin accepting DAPA applications by May 20, 2015. Whether or not this will be delayed is unknown at this point, but we are confident that the program will move forward.
In the meantime, we recommend that individuals who are potentially eligible for expanded DACA or DAPA continue to prepare to apply by gathering the necessary documentation and call us to schedule a consultation to ensure the best chance for a successful application and avoid any potential problems.
If you seek help with your application, it is very important to go to an attorney who specializes in immigration law, and to avoid "notarios" and other businesses who offer legal advice without a law license. These people are incapable of analyzing your complete immigration situation so as to help you find better options or avoid making mistakes that could result in deportation. Many people find their applications denied, or worse, find themselves in deportation proceedings because they choose not to hire a lawyer and to use the services of a notario, a tax preparer, or an "immigration services provider" who offered to help them "prepare immigration paperwork."