One of the initiatives listed under President Obama’s recent immigration law executive order will defer deportation of parents whose:
- Children are United States (U.S.) citizens and lawful permanent residents;
- Continuous residence has been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010; and
- Who are not a priority for removal from the U.S.
According to The Washington Post, the order will protect 3.5 million parents whose children are U.S. citizens and have lived in the U.S. for five or more years. Under the new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program, eligible individuals will be allowed periods of three years of deferred deportation and authorization for employment contingent upon specific requirements and criminal background checks. To qualify for this program, a person must:
- Have entered the U.S. without lawful papers;
- Have an expired lawful immigration status; and
- Have not been convicted for certain misdemeanors or felonies.
The Department of Homeland Security has given instruction to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection to grant favorable discretion for individuals eligible for DAPA who are already in custody or removal proceedings or individuals who are scheduled for deportation.
However, individuals falling into the enforcement priority for removal category are not qualified for DAPA and face further immigration problems. This includes undocumented immigrants who have been:
- Suspected of or engaged in terrorism or pose a danger to national security;
- Apprehended for attempt to enter the U.S. illegally at the border or ports of entry; or
- Convicted of a criminal street gang-related offense or criminal felony.
The number of people accepted as DAPA may be limited in the future, so it is important to make sure you qualify and have the proper documents ready for your application to have a successful chance. Our law firm focuses on immigration rights for individuals and families and we want to help you understand and benefit from the new executive order.
If you or a family member have questions regarding DAPA eligibility in Texas, contact a San Antonio immigration law attorney with experience in handling all immigration cases. We have offices located in San Antonio and San Angelo. Call 210-932-3600 or 325-227-6736 today.