DACA – Dream Act Immigration
In 2012, President Obama began a program called DACA or Dream Act that provides social security cards, work permits, and driver’s licenses to individuals who arrived in the United States before they turned 16. It also protects these individuals from deportation.
Specifically, if someone entered the United States BEFORE June 15, 2007, has continued to live in the United States since that time, was under the age of 16 when they first arrived in the United States, was under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, and is currently in school, graduated from high school, obtained a GED, or has been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces, they are eligible to obtain the benefit of DACA. They also must not have been convicted of a felony, a “significant misdemeanor”, or 4 or more minor misdemeanors. The definition of a “significant misdemeanor” is flexible and constantly changes depending on the conviction and the nature of the circumstances. That’s why it is important to speak with a DACA immigration attorney prior to applying, especially if you have ever been arrested for anything in your life. Once your DACA is approved, you will need to renew it every two years. It is best to go to an immigration lawyer, who understands the Dream Act to help you with your DACA applications (I-821D), renewals and general paperwork. The Law Offices of Erika Roman can provide the assistance you need.
In 2014, President Obama tried to propose new regulations for DACA. The new regulations expand the group of people who are eligible for the Dream Act and includes children who arrived in the United States before January 1, 2010. It also allows the DACA permit to last three years instead of two. However, certain individuals are opposed to providing immigration assistance to children and have since filed a lawsuit in federal court trying to stop the new regulations. Accordingly, for the time being, DACA is limited to individuals who arrived in the United States prior to June 15, 2007.