DC Deferred Action Lawyer

DC Deferred Action Lawyer

Deferred action has emerged as the tool of choice for the Department of Homeland Security to provide some form of status and stability for millions of immigrants. Benach Collopy attorneys have been using deferred action for over a decade to stop removals and obtain some relief for hundreds of deserving immigrants.

Deferred action is a tool used by the Department of Homeland Security to acknowledge that certain immigrants are not a priority for removal. Like any law enforcement agency, the DHS must pick and choose how to enforce the law. DHS has made the decision that it will focus on those who represent a danger to society. For those who are not priorities, DHS has used deferred action to allow them to work in the U.S. and to have a lesser fear of removal.

It is important to note what deferred action is not. Deferred action is not residence, nor does it provide a path to residence or citizenship. Deferred action can only be granted in the discretion of the DHS. That means that DHS has to determine that an applicant deserves deferred action. Negative factors in an applicant’s past, such as arrests, major fraud, or multiple entries after removal, could undermine an application for deferred action. Deferred action allows an applicant to obtain a work permit and to have the security of knowing that the DHS will not seek his or her removal.

Despite its limitations, the benefits of deferred action are enormous. With the work permit for deferred action, immigrants can obtain driver’s licenses and social security numbers, which can lead to better jobs, bank accounts, college admission, and home ownership.

Currently, there are two forms of deferred action:

  1. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  2. Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA)

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

In June 2012, the Obama administration announced deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA). DACA has its roots in the DREAM Act, which seeks to give legal status to young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have graduated for and or attended school. In order to qualify for DACA, an immigrant must:

  • Have entered before January 1, 2010
  • Have entered before the age of 16
  • Be currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Armed Forces or Coast Guard
  • Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, multiple misdemeanors, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety

Prior to November 20, 2014, DACA was limited to people who were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012. That age limit has been eliminated and any immigrant who meets the criteria, regardless of her current age, may qualify.

Applicants can obtain deferred action for a period of three years.

Deferred Action for Parents of Americans

On November 15, 2014, the President announced deferred action for the parents of Americans (DAPA). The Citizenship & Immigration Service (CIS) has been instructed to make applications available by May 19, 2015. To qualify for DAPA, an immigrant must:

  • Have entered the U.S. prior to January 1, 2010
  • Be the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident child as of November 20, 2014.
  • Not be a priority for removal, which includes individuals convicted of a felony offense, multiple misdemeanors, significant misdemeanors, and those individuals who otherwise present a risk to society or national security.

Like DACA, DAPA applicants can get work permits for three years.

The filing fee for DACA and DAPA applications is $465.

Parole for DACA and DAPA Grantees

Under certain circumstances, individuals granted DACA or DAPA can be granted “advance parole” to allow for brief travel abroad. Under recent legal guidance, individuals who travel on advance parole can travel internationally without triggering the three and ten year bars to admission. Parole is granted on a case by case basis and generally only for humanitarian purposes. An individual with DACA or DAPA should not travel on parole without consulting a lawyer.

Benach Collopy has obtained deferred action for hundreds of immigrants. Please contact us to discuss your eligibility for deferred action.

Benach Collopy

Benach Collopy N/a
4530 Wisconsin Ave NW
Suite 400

DC 20016
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