On November 20, 2014, President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would not deport certain undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and residents. This program was called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). DAPA would grant deferred action status to certain illegal immigrants who have lived in the United States since 2010 and have children who are U.S. citizens or U.S. lawful permanent residents.
At the same time, the president also announced an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This provides relief to certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday. This would also grant deferred action to those who qualify. These programs could help nearly 5 million people avoid removal proceedings (deportation).
Deferred action is administrative relief from deportation. It allows a non-documented person to remain in the U.S. temporarily. This person can also apply for a work permit during which he or she has deferred action. An important thing to remember is that deferred action is temporary. But the person granted deferred action has legal status in the U.S. for three years and can be renewed thereafter.
Due to a ruling by a Texas district court in February of this year, the government is not currently accepting applications for the DAPA or expanded DACA programs. This means that people will not be able to apply for DAPA or expanded DACA until a court issues an order that allows the initiatives to go forward. The matter is currently being heard by a Federal Appellate Court in New Orleans and a decision is expected soon.
To stay updated on current USCIS issues or to learn more about DAPA and DACA, please visit Central Florida’s premier immigration firm at www.OrlandoVisa.com, or call us at (407) 648-5742.