Introduction to Expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents

Here is an excerpt from my upcoming article in the Johnson County BarLetter:

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced that he would take “executive action” to significantly expand the Administration’s 2012 Deferred Action program.  This expansion extends “protection from deportation” and other benefits to over one-third of the approximately eleven million individuals living in the United States without immigration status.  The program may represent the most significant change to immigration enforcement in the last twenty years.  However, the President’s program faces significant challenges.

On November 20, 2014, the President announced that he would take executive action to “crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.”  During the nationally-televised address, the President announced his intention to substantially expand the 2012 Deferred Action program.

The same day as the President’s speech, the DHS Secretary issued an internal memorandum (“Directive”) implementing the President’s Deferred Action expansion in two ways.  First, it expands the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to include people of any current age who (1) entered the United States before the age of 16, (2) lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, and (2) satisfy the education requirement.  http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_deferred_action.pdf.  Second – and more controversially – it creates a new “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents” (DAPA) program, whereby parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents may request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, provided they have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, and pass required background checks.  Id.

The President’s executive action would extend the same benefits as the original DACA program – deferred deportation, a social security card, work authorization, and a driver’s license – to approximately 290,000 expanded DACA recipients and 3.7 million DAPA recipients. http://migrationpolicy.org/news/mpi-many-37-million-unauthorized-immigrants-could-get-relief-deportation-under-anticipated-new.  In total, the President’s executive action would award immigration benefits to 3,990,000 undocumented individuals – over 35% of the United States’ current undocumented population.

On February 16, 2015, two days before USCIS was to begin accepting applications for the expanded DACA program, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a temporary injunction blocking the implementation of DAPA and expanded DACA.

This executive action – and DAPA and the expanded DACA programs – face an uncertain future.  Check back often with Roberson Law for updates.  For the full article, click here.

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