Millions of young, undocumented people across the country have lived in the United States since they were children and call this country home. But until recently, they have had to live in fear of deportation and had difficulty getting a well-paying job or a higher education. However, now a new immigration policy called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) makes it possible for some immigrants to work and to receive exemption from deportation for a limited period of time.
At De Castroverde Law Group, we applaud the young men and women who wish to live exciting, productive, and prosperous lives in the United States, even if they did not enter the country legally when they were children. We are committed to helping anyone who is eligible for DACA status complete their application and tackle any other related immigration issues.
What is DACA?
As part of his plan for immigration reform, President Barack Obama began the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in June 2012. The immigration policy allows some undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States for two years without threat of deportation and gives them the opportunity to work. The policy is for those who came to the United States before the age of 16 and who are currently under the age of 31.
Although DACA status only lasts for a short number of years, and although it does not directly lead to U.S. citizenship, it does give young people an opportunity to access many of the rights and benefits of U.S. citizens. For example, someone with DACA status can:
- Apply for and receive a Social Security number
- Legally live and work in the United States.
- Receive employment benefits and health insurance benefits.
- Get a higher education.
- Get a driver’s license.
- Get a bank account and credit cards.
- Participate in community activities.
About 1.7 million people are eligible for DACA status and about 75 percent of those eligible are original residents of Mexico and Central America.
DACA Eligibility Requirements
In order to obtain DACA status, you must meet a number of different requirements, including:
- You must have arrived in the United States before you were 16 years old.
- You must currently live in the United States.
- You must have continuously lived in the United States since June 15, 2007.
- You are currently in high school, have a high school diploma, have a GED, or have an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces.
- You do not have a significant criminal record, such as a felony or a serious misdemeanor.
- You do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
- You were 30 years old or younger on June 15, 2013.
Contact Us Today
There have been several recent changes to the DACA program and, in addition, more changes may take place soon regarding eligibility and guidelines. The best way to stay abreast of these changes and to fully understand the law is to speak with a qualified and knowledgeable immigration attorney. Our legal team can help you understand whether you are eligible and how you can best secure DACA status. Specifically, we can help you with the following tasks and legal issues:
- Submitting Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
- Submitting forms to obtain a work permit.
- Collecting information and evidence for your application.
- Proving that you entered the United States before age 16.
- Proving that you have been in the United States continuously since 2007.
- Proving that you have an economic need for employment.
To learn more about our DACA-related legal services, contact our law firm today.