In my column This week's Consulta Migratoria® explains what parents of U.S. residents or citizens should do to prepare if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of the legality of DAPA and lifts the block on immigration relief.
Remember that in this column I give general information. Each case is different and depends on the immigration history of each person. Please consult with an immigration attorney to receive personalized legal advice before beginning any proceedings.
This is the column:
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review certain of President Barack Obama's executive actions. That means the nation's highest court will decide whether the President has the legal authority to implement DAPA - the deferred action program for undocumented parents of U.S. residents and citizens.
The Supreme Court is expected to review the case in April and announce its decision by the end of June. If the justices determine that Obama's measures are legal, the blockade will be lifted and millions of people will be able to apply for immigration relief that would temporarily suspend their deportation and allow them to live and work legally in the country.
Although it is too early to anticipate their decision, there are high hopes that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of immigrants, so it is important to review who is eligible and what to do to be ready if DAPA is implemented.
Key eligibility requirements
Be a parent of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who was born on or before November 20, 2014.
2. Have lived in the U.S. continuously since before January 1, 2010.
3. Have been physically present in the United States on November 20, 2014, and at the time of filing the DAPA petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
4. No legal status on November 20, 2014.
5. Not be a priority for deportation (such as having a serious criminal record or being considered a threat to national security and public safety).
How to Prepare if DAPA is Approved
1. Make sure you have documentation that proves the relationship to the citizen or resident child.
2. Gather receipts and documents showing that you have been living in the country since before January 1, 2010 - such as tax returns and rent, electricity and telephone bills in your name.
If you have any criminal or immigration history, consult with an immigration attorney to make sure you are eligible to begin the process.
4. Save as much as you can to pay for the cost of the paperwork in the future.
Hopefully we will have good news by the middle of this year and DAPA will begin to be implemented. Remember that this is only temporary relief. A consultation with an immigration attorney can be helpful not only to find out if you are eligible for DAPA, but also to discuss whether there is a better legal option to live in the country, such as permanent residency.
The main point is to make sure that you are eligible and that there are no complications in your record that could prejudice you with the USCIS.
Please do not visit notaries, immigration consultants, paper fillers or multiservices because these people are not authorized to give you legal advice and could make your case worse.