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Licensed to Practice State Law in Colorado and California

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Undocumented parents of U.S. Citizen and Lawful Permanent Resident Children get Temporary Relief: Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and DACA

There is good news for families waking up in Virginia and throughout the United States this morning.   On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive actions that will help families stay together without the fear of deportation.  Even though these actions will not give legal status to these individuals, it will allow those family members to temporarily remain in the U.S. for three years and get a work permit.  This applies to:

  1. Parents of U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident children who have been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010 (DAPA)
  2. Young people who entered the U.S. before they turned 16, who have resided continuously in the U.S. since January 1, 2010, and meet the other eligibility requirements.  (DACA)

Great News for Parents of U.S. Citizen or lawful resident children:  Now parents of U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident children who have been here since January 1, 2010, can apply for temporary status under Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA).  Applicants will have to pass a criminal background check, prove they have been here since January 1, 2010 and not be a threat to public safety or a national security risk.  If otherwise eligible, they will be allowed to remain in the U.S. temporarily for a three year period, without the fear of deportation.  Applicants will have to demonstrate they:

  • Have continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010;
  • Are the parents of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident born on or before November 20, 2014; and
  • Are not an enforcement priority for removal from the United States, pursuant to the November 20, 2014, Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of undocumented immigrants (i.e. not a security risk, or threat to public safety)
  • USCIS will consider each request on a case by case basis.

Important notice: These initiatives have not yet been implemented, and USCIS is not accepting any requests or applications at this time. Beware of anyone who offers to help you submit an application or a request for any of these actions before they are available. You could become a victim of an immigration scam

DACA:  The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will now apply to young people who came to this country before turning 16 years old and have been present since January 1, 2010.   If approved, applicants will get deferred action and employment authorization for three years.

Individuals must prove

  • continuous residence since January 1, 2010,
  • pass all background checks, and
  • Meet all other guidelines.

The good news is that under this revision, there is no upper age restriction.  Now, they can apply even if they were born before June 15, 1981, provided they meet all other guidelines.

PROVISIONAL WAIVERS:  Finally, spouses of lawful permanent residents who are subject to the three or ten year unlawful presence bars to inadmissibility, can now file their I-601A waivers in the U.S. and wait for approval before going to their immigrant visa appointments abroad.

**IMMIGRATION IS NOT ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS AT THIS TIME. In the meantime, you can start to gather the following documents.  Please go to: http://www.blueridgeimmigration.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Immigration-Relief-Prep-Top-10-2014-11-20.pdf

Immigrant children fleeing their homes in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala

“Virtual cities of children are picking up and fleeing El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala—some of the most dangerous places in this hemisphere. In Washington, the story has stoked the longstanding debate over border policy. But U.S. immigration policy is just a small part of this story. Yes, the U.S. immigration system is now bottlenecked with the influx, prompting emergency response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But changing U.S. border policy won’t stem the root of the exodus”.

Contrary to what some might say, these kids are not coming here because they want a free ride and they want to take advantage of our immigration laws.  On the contrary. This is a humanitarian crisis.  There is a growing number of people who are literally fleeing for their lives.

Why kids?    The kids are vulnerable because they are children. And they are being targeted.

We liken the situation very much to the situation of the recruitment of child soldiers on other continents. Children are particularly vulnerable, they are susceptible to harm, they are easily terrorized, and the very fact that they are children is the single factor in the harm that they are experiencing. They are specifically being target to be recruited. They are the ones who are being bullied.

Are the children coming north on rumors that the United States will let them in, that the Obama administration has lax policies toward minors?  The children are being asked the reasons why they left and what they expected.    Out of 404 kids interviewed, only 9 mentioned any kind of possibility of the U.S treating kids well, from the perspective of a child.  These children are also escaping to Mexico.

To find out why they are coming, what the situation is like for these kids, and what can be done, please follow this link.  http://www.nationaljournal.com/domesticpolicy/why-90-000-children-flooding-our-border-is-not-an-immigration-story-20140616

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status – Allows vulnerable children to immigrate.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published new educational resources regarding foreign-born children present in the United States that may be in need of humanitarian protection because they have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent. Special Immigrant Juvenile status is an immigration classification that may allow for these vulnerable children to immediately apply for lawful permanent resident status.

USCIS is releasing the following educational resources about Special Immigrant Juvenile status:

– Immigration Relief for Abused Children: Information for Juvenile Court Judges, Child Welfare Workers, and Others Working with Abused Children Click Here for PDF.

– Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: Information for Child Welfare Workers Click Here for PDF.

– Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: Information for Juvenile Courts Click Here for PDF.

Children do not need to be in the foster care system to be eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile status. However, abused, neglected, and abandoned children in foster care, who do not have legal immigration status, may be eligible.