As an immigration lawyer, I was extraordinarily happy when President Obama took Executive Action to fix our nation’s broken immigration system. A key component of Obama’s Executive Action was DAPA or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, which essentially would have extended DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) to include certain eligible parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
DAPA is Dead
The DAPA immigration program was never implemented and today it is non-existent. DAPA was killed by two things: first, the Republicans launched a lawsuit, which lead to an injunction that prevented the Obama Administration from implementing DAPA. Second, while litigation over this injunction was underway, the 2016 election brought to power Donald Trump. With Trump’s election, we now have executive power in the hands of a man who is the very embodiment of nativist hostility towards immigrants. Any Republican victory would have doomed DAPA, but with Trump the demise of DAPA is emphatic.
DAPA was to be a discretionary form of immigration relief. Eligibility for DAPA is determined by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services) on a case-by-case basis. The requirements for DAPA were:
- you must have been physically present, continuously, in the United States since January 1, 2010. If you entered the U.S. after this cut-off date, then you don’t qualify for DAPA.
- you must have child who was born on or before November 20, 2014; if your child is born on November 21 or thereafter, then you are not eligible for DAPA.
- You were physically present in the United States on November 20, 2014, the date that DAPA was announced.
- you have no lawful status on November 20, 2014.
- your child must have either a green card (legal permanent resident) or U.S. citizenship. Parents of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients are not eligible for DAPA.
- you must not have committed any serious crimes or otherwise have become an deportation enforcement priority, under the revised guidelines explained in Policies for Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants Memorandum published on November 20, 2014
What benefits would you have you received through DAPA?
DAPA approval would have provided two key benefits:
- a work permit (Employment Authorization Document or EAD card), which will be valid for a 3-year period. The work permit will allow you to apply for a social security card. And a work permit and a social security will enable you to qualify for a state driver’s license (at least in Massachusetts).
- protection from deportation during the duration of its 3-year validity.
DAPA had no a path to citizenship. DAPA didn’t lead to a green card or permanent residency status.
Where can I find the actual memo, which would have established the DAPA program?
DAPA is dead, now what should you do?
DAPA (Deferred Action for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) would have helped parents of green card holders or U.S. citizens. But sadly, DAPA was never implemented. So what should you do given that DAPA isn’t an option? The answer is to come see us! Our experienced immigration lawyer, who specializes in deferred action cases. When you’re ready to take advantage of DAPA, call our Boston immigration law office today at (617) 722-0005.