A first step for immigrants!

President Obama’s executive order…A first step for immigrations..!

Since last month, an undocumented immigrant who is the Parent of a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident and has lived in the U.S. since January 1, 2010 or entered the U.S. before age 16 and before January 1, 2010 (without any age limitation) will be able to apply for a temporary status and a work permit. This is a first step, but we will continue pushing for the inclusion of all undocumented immigrants.

President Obama announced Deferred Action for Parents (DAPA) and Extended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  Specifically, on November 20, 2014, the president announced executive actions that his administration will be taking to help fix our dysfunctional immigration system.

What are these new programs?

A new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program will allow undocumented people who have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident son or daughter to apply for work authorization and protection from deportation, if the person has been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010. An estimated 4.1 million people should qualify for this program.

The existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program will be expanded and now will cover people who entered the U.S. before their sixteenth birthday and have lived continuously in the U.S. since January 1, 2010. People who were “aged out” of DACA by being older than age 31 on June 15, 2012, are now eligible to apply, regardless of how old they are now. Approximately 300,000 people will benefit from these changes.

Certain spouses of lawful permanent residents may be able to get their lawful permanent resident (or green card) status through a waiver process. Spouses of U.S. citizens are currently able to apply through this process.

What is next?

Even if you are eligible for these programs, you cannot apply for them yet! The government expects that it will start accepting applications within three months from now for those eligible for expanded DACA, and within six months from now for those eligible for DAPA.

Do not take advice about your immigration case from a notary public or an immigration consultant. Contact only a qualified immigration lawyer or an accredited representative for legal advice about your case.

If you know someone who is in immigration detention and is eligible for one of these programs, advise them to identify themselves to their case officer, or the ICE Information Line at 888-351-4024, and explain that they are eligible for one of these new programs.

If you believe you are eligible, begin preparing now by gathering documents that prove:

• that you were in the U.S. on November 20, 2014,
• that you have been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010,
• that you have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident son or daughter,
• that you entered before being 16th years of age.

Requests for deferred action will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and not every immigrant will qualify. Individuals who are found to be ineligible due to criminal history, fraud in the application, or because they represent a danger to the community may be subject to removal or other immigration enforcement action. DHS considers many misdemeanor convictions to be “significant misdemeanors,” including driving under the influence (DUI), regardless of any sentence imposed. If you have ever been arrested by the police, CALL ME immediately before applying for deferred action.

If you meet some, but not all the requirements, you should call my office. You should keep in mind that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance about the new executive order. Furthermore, the article is not intended to explain or identify all potential issues that may arise in connection with the filing of a work permit pursuant to the executive order. Each case is fact-specific and therefore similar cases may have different outcomes.

I represent individuals in immigration cases. If you have any questions or concerns about an immigration case and/or you are undocumented, you can call me at (315) 422-5673, send me a fax at (315) 466-5673, or e-mail me at joseperez@joseperezyourlawyer.com. The Law Office of Jose Perez is located at 120 East Washington Street, Suite 925, Syracuse, New York13202. Please look for my next article in the January edition. FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!

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