The Current State Of DACA
In 2012, the immigration policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (‘DACA’) was created. It was intended to help undocumented citizens who came to the United States as children. The purpose of DACA is to delay deportation for those certain undocumented citizens and to help them become eligible for United States work permits. The immigration policy has been challenged in court systems throughout the country and has recently been taken up by the Supreme Court.
A decision that will make or break the immigration policy is expected to be made by the Supreme Court in 2020. Until we know where the future of the policy stands, it is important that those who are eligible for DACA seek legal advice regarding the continuation of their renewals. If you have questions about your DACA status or the renewal process, contact our office to schedule a consultation with DACA attorney Poonam Bhuchar as soon as possible.
What Is DACA?
As mentioned above, DACA is an immigration policy that helps some undocumented citizens stay in the United States and achieve work permits. DACA is not a direct path to citizenship, but it allows for two-year renewals that provide protections for those who qualify. The hope is that DACA recipients will be permitted to remain in the country until legislation is passed that will allow them to gain legal citizenship.
In general, to be eligible for DACA, you must meet the following qualifying factors:
- You must have entered the United States on or prior to June 15th, 2007.
- You must have been under the age of 16 when you arrived in the United States.
- You were under 31 years old as of June 15th, 2012.
- You must be a student, have completed high school, achieved a GED, or been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or armed forces.
There are additional factors and exceptions that may impact your eligibility for DACA, such as whether or not you continuously resided in the United States and if you left the country for any period of time after August 15th, 2012. It is essential to speak with an immigration attorney before making any decisions that could impact your legal status and DACA protections.
DACA And Criminal Convictions
A criminal record does not necessarily make you ineligible for DACA or for a renewal. The severity and number of convictions may impact your eligibility, however. Convictions that may affect your status and eligibility include felony convictions, three or more misdemeanor convictions, a significant or serious misdemeanor conviction, and if it is believed that you pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Where DACA Law Stands Today
As previously mentioned, the United States Supreme Court has decided to rule on DACA and whether or not the Trump administration has lawfully ended the program. President Trump gave Congress a March 2018 deadline to pass legislation that would protect DACA recipients. Congress failed to pass legislation, and President Trump rescinded the program. For now, the 700,000 to 800,000 DACA recipients know that their fate is in the hands of the Supreme Court.
If the Supreme Court rules that President Trump unlawfully rescinded the program, recipients may be spared from deportation. On the other hand, if the Supreme Court rules that the program was lawfully rescinded, recipients may be facing problems with removal and U.S. work permits.
What You Should Do Today
Unfortunately, there are many illegitimate businesses that offer immigration help to undocumented citizens. When undocumented citizens are defrauded by these illicit services, the consequences are often devastating. If you have questions about DACA eligibility, renewals, arrests, or any other immigration-related matters, contact our office to schedule a consultation.
Your status, eligibility to remain in the United States, and the threat of deportation are issues that are too important to trust to anyone besides a qualified immigration attorney. At the Bhuchar Law Firm, we are dedicated to protecting immigrants and their legal rights. We know that nothing is more important than safety and protection for you and your family, and we can help.
How We Can Help
We help our clients with all types of immigration matters and services, including the following:
- Investor Visas
- Student Visas
- Visitor Visas
- Employment Visas
- Family-based Visas
- Citizenship and Naturalization
- Deportation defense
- Permanent resident matters
- Immigration fraud defense
- Consular processing
- Immigration appeals
Immigration law is extremely complicated, and only experienced immigration attorneys should handle these matters. Missing filing deadlines, incorrect legal advice, and other types of legal errors can compromise your family’s safety and protection. We know that these are difficult and uncertain times for immigrants in the United States, and we are here to help you get the answers and services that you deserve.