After many years of trying to fix the United States’ broken immigration system, President Obama pioneered two programs in an effort to assist individuals who have resided in the United States for a lengthy period of time, individuals who were brought to the United States as young children and have grown up as Americans, and people who have respected the criminal laws of the United States. These two programs are called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).
DAPA (a.k.a. Dream Act for Parents)
In November 2014, President Obama announced a new law that would provide work permits, social security cards, and driver’s licenses to parents of United States citizens. The law would also apply to parents of lawful permanent resident children. In order to qualify, the parents must reside continuously in the United States since at least January 1, 2010 and must have been physically present in the United States on November 14, 2014. In addition, they must not have a conviction for a felony or “certain misdemeanors”. Similarly to the definition of the “significant misdemeanor” requirement present in DACA, “certain misdemeanor” is extremely vague and subject to interpretation.
However, as with the new requirements for DACA, certain individuals opposed Obama’s immigration law and filed a lawsuit against Obama in order to prevent the new law from taking effect. The lawsuit is still pending. As a result, no one who would otherwise be eligible to apply for DAPA may do so until such time as the lawsuit is resolved. If an individual tells you that they can help you apply for Obama’s immigration reform work permit right away, they are breaking the law and are deceiving you. Do not trust any notario, paralegal, or immigration service center who claims that they can help you get DAPA right away.