This week in my Consulta Migratoria® column I answer a reader's question.
Each case is different and the answers vary depending on each person's immigration history.
Here I provide general answers to your questions. Please consult with an immigration attorney to receive personalized legal advice before starting any procedure.
This is the column:
Through his long-awaited Executive Action, President Obama will provide temporary relief from deportation to millions of undocumented immigrants.
Since the President announced his plan, much confusion has arisen in the undocumented community that still hopes to obtain legal status, albeit temporary, that will allow them to live and work in the United States without fear of imminent deportation.
In summary, President Obama expanded DACA, the deferred action program for immigrants who came to the country when they were under the age of 16, and created DAPA - a deferred action program for parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
The main point to clarify is that DACA and DAPA will only help undocumented immigrants. If someone has any current immigration protections or benefits, such as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or a student visa, they will not qualify.
Keep in mind that not all undocumented immigrants will qualify for these programs, so watch out for fraud. Don't be fooled. Only go to licensed immigration attorneys or non-profit organizations that have federally accredited legal representatives.
The second point to emphasize is that this is a temporary program. Undocumented immigrants who qualify will only be able to live and work legally in the United States for 3 years. Before filing a DACA petition, they should consult with an immigration attorney to see if they have any other avenue by which they can obtain permanent residency.
I have received many questions from readers about the President's executive action so I will begin by explaining who qualifies for these programs. Starting today and over the next few weeks, I will be answering several questions on the subject.
Remember that I provide general answers to your questions here. Please consult with an immigration attorney to receive personalized legal advice before starting any procedure.
I have three children and 15 years of living illegally in the U.S. Do I qualify for the law that the president threw out? -Luzmari A.
Luzmari, you may qualify for the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program recently announced by President Obama if at least one of your children was born in the United States before November 21, 2014 and you are not a priority for deportation.
Undocumented immigrants must meet the following requirements to file a DAPA petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and qualify for the program:
Be a parent of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who was born on or before November 20, 2014 (date of the Presidential announcement).
2. Have lived continuously in the United States since before January 1, 2010.
3. Be physically present in the United States on November 20, 2014, and at the time of filing the DAPA petition with USCIS.
4. No legal status on November 20, 2014.
5. Not being a priority for deportation, according to the Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants MemorandumThe company's)
6. Have no other factors that disqualify you from the use of USCIS discretion.
The federal government considers as a priority for deportation individuals who are a threat to national security and public safety, have committed certain types of crimes, or have a final order of deportation issued after January 1, 2014.
USCIS will implement DAPA within approximately 180 days (6 months) of President Obama's announcement on November 20, 2014.
It must be emphasized that President Obama's plan is temporary and will not protect all undocumented immigrants living in the United States, including people who may have been living in the country for decades.
The only way the immigration system can be fixed is through the passage of comprehensive immigration reform, and this is in the hands of the U.S. Congress.
For more information and immigration tips, read my blog inmigracionhoy.com.
Send your questions to email@example.com. Include detailed information about your situation to better answer your questions.
Nelson A. Castillo, Esq. is an immigration attorney and author of La Tarjeta Verde: Cómo Obtener la Residencia Permanente en los Estados Unidos (Green Card: How to Obtain Permanent Residence in the United States). He is a past president of the Hispanic National Bar Association and current president of the Los Angeles Westlake South Neighborhood Council. To contact Mr. Castillo's office, please call (213) 537-VISA (8472).
The purpose of this column is to provide general information. No guarantees or predictions can be made as to what the outcome of the information presented by Dr. Nelson A. Castillo will be. The information should not be taken as legal advice for any individual, case or situation. Consult with an immigration attorney for personalized legal advice before beginning any immigration proceedings.