November 20, 2014 –If you think you may be eligible for DAPA (deferred action) as the undocumented parent of a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen son and or daughter, please get proof or documentation that you were physically present in the U.S. on November 20, 2014 or a few days before or after that date. You will also need this if you qualify under the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
PLEASE remember that immigration is NOT accepting applications at this time. We DO NOT have the form yet. Save Money for the Application Fees and start gathering documents. Do NOT take advice about your immigration case from a notary public or an immigration consultant.
Thousands of eligible children and young adults have still not applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, despite eligibility. The time to act is now.
What is Deferred Action?
Deferred action is a kind of administrative relief from deportation that has been around a long time. Through it, the Department of Homeland Security authorizes a non–U.S. citizen to remain in the U.S. temporarily. The person may apply for an employment authorization document (a “work permit”) for the period during which he or she has deferred action.
Deferred action is granted on a case-by-case basis. Even if you meet the requirements outlined below, DHS will still have to decide whether to grant you deferred action.
A grant of deferred action is temporary and does not provide a path to lawful permanent resident status or U.S. citizenship. However, a person granted deferred action is considered by the federal government to be lawfully present in the U.S. for as long as the grant of deferred action is in effect.
Who is eligible for an initial grant of DACA?
- To be eligible for deferred action under the DACA program, you must:
- Have been born on or after June 16, 1981.
- Have come to the United States before your sixteenth birthday.
- Have continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
- Have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and on every day since August 15, 2012.
- Not have a lawful immigration status. To meet this requirement (1) you must have entered the U.S. without papers before June 15, 2012, or, if you entered lawfully, your lawful immigration status must have expired before June 15, 2012; and (2) you must not have a lawful immigration status at the time of your application.
- Be at least 15 years old. If you are currently in deportation proceedings, have a voluntary departure order, or have a deportation order, and are not in immigration detention, you may request deferred action even if you are not yet 15 years old.
- Have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. armed forces, or “be in school” on the date that you submit your deferred action application. See below for more information about meeting the “be in school” requirement.
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense. A felony is a federal, state, or local criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
- Have not been convicted of a significant misdemeanor offense or three or more misdemeanor offenses. See below for more information about offenses that may disqualify you.
- Not pose a threat to national security or public safety. (DHS has not defined what these terms mean but has indicated that they include gang membership, participation in criminal activities, or participation in activities that threaten the U.S.)
- Pass a background check.
For more information and to see if you are eligible, please contact Donusia Lipinski at Blue Ridge Immigration Law Center, PLLC at 540 878 5740 or email her at Donusia@BRILC.net.
Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process – Certain youths may qualify for employment authorization
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization.
Individuals who can demonstrate through verifiable documentation that they meet these guidelines will be considered for deferred action. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis under the guidelines set forth in the Secretary of Homeland Security’s memorandum.
In September 2012, USCIS started deferring action for certain childhood arrivals and issuing employment authorization for a period of two years. Beginning in September 2014, the initial two-year grants of deferred action for early recipients of DACA from USCIS are due to expire under their own terms, and USCIS is actively preparing for the DACA renewal process so that eligible individuals can request and receive an extension of their deferred action without experiencing any lapse in their lawful presence or work authorization.
In late May 2014, USCIS anticipates publishing a new dual-use Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, to allow for both initial and renewal requests, and updating Frequently Asked Questions with additional information. If you received DACA from USCIS and will seek to renew, you must wait until USCIS publishes the new form before filing your renewal request. If you are filing for initial DACA, you may continue to file using the current form until the new version is available http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-process
You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety. Individuals can call USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 with questions or to request more information on the deferred action for childhood arrivals process or visitwww.uscis.gov.
Anyone requesting consideration for deferred action under this process must have been under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012. You must also be at least 15 years or older to request deferred action, unless you are currently in removal proceedings or have a final removal or voluntary departure order.
For more information go to: http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-process
VACOLAO Celebrates Today’s Declaration by Attorney General Mark Herring That DACA Recipients Are Eligible for In-State Tuition
Today’s decision will finally recognize that Virginia law does not bar students who are DACA recipients from qualifying as domiciled in our state for in-state tuition purposes.
Alexandria, VA: At an 11:00 a.m. press conference on the campus of Northern Virginia Community College, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring declared that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients do have Virginia domicile, which makes them eligible for in-state tuition at Virginia’s public institutions of higher learning.
For a number of years, VACOLAO has been working in conjunction with our partner organizations, immigrant students and other concerned Virginians to have this class of students recognized as eligible for in-state tuition. Many of these students were brought to the United States as children and often end up graduating from Virginia high schools. Before today’s announcement, those who were accepted to study at Virginia’s public colleges and universities were treated as international students when it came to the tuition amount they had to pay.
“VACOLAO is elated to learn that Attorney General Herring has recognized that DACA recipients are domiciled in Virginia and eligible for in-state tuition” says VACOLAO Chair, Edgar Aranda-Yanoc. “These hard working Virginia students who have grown up and are an important part of our state’s economic future will finally be able to study at Virginia’s public universities without the barrier of out-of-state tuition.”
Delegate Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington), the only Latino member of the Virginia General Assembly, says, “Having worked tirelessly for years to secure in-state tuition for these incredible DREAMer students, I am so happy and encouraged by the Attorney General’s important and positive step in the right direction. I thank VACOLAO for their critical support of our work on this vital issue over the years.”
Delegate Thomas Davis Rust (R-Herndon), a longtime patron of the legislation to grant in-state tuition to DACA recipients states, “Most of these young people have been raised in Virginia and attend Virginia schools; they deserve the opportunity to participate in our world class institutions of public higher education. I’m pleased that the legislation that I introduced brought appropriate attention to this matter and I’m delighted that the Attorney General has taken this action.”
Senator Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) adds, “Today’s news from the Attorney General’s office is very important and exciting. With the opportunity to receive in state tuition, DACA students will have the opportunities they have earned – to receive a college education and to fulfill their goals. I would like to commend VACOLAO for their years of work on this important issue. I have appreciated the opportunity to work with them and will continue to do so on other shared concerns in the future.”
“As a mother, I can today breath more easily as my children will now have the ability to attend one of Virginia’s outstanding universities,” says Lenka Mendoza, founder of Dreamer Moms USA-Virginia. “It was always hard to see my children work hard in school with dreams of going to college, all the while knowing that it would be difficult because of the cost.”
“I have had to suspend by studies for an entire year due to the high tuition costs,” says Alejandro Zuñiga, a Virginia high school graduate. “Today’s decision is a huge relief for me and the thousands of DREAMers who have grown up here and want to contribute to Virginia’s future.
Leni Gonzalez, Founding Member of VACOLAO and President of LULAC Council 4609 stated: “We applaud the declaration of the Attorney General Herring, to give relief to these students to achieve the American Dream by pursuing a higher education degree. These talented and hardworking students will stay in our Commonwealth and will enrich it in many ways”
Walter Tejada, Arlington County Board Member and VACOLAO Founding Chairman said “this is a historic day for our hard-working talented students and for those of us who have been fighting on their behalf. As someone who has worked with VACOLAO for years, and at the local, state, and national level on these issues, I am proud of the action Attorney General Herring has taken and appreciate his careful consideration and analysis of the law. This was not just the right thing to do for Virginia students who are among the best and the brightest, but it sends a message that our Commonwealth will do what is needed to remain a leader in the 21st century economy. This is a big step forward for Virginia.
Senator McEachin and Delegates Lopez, Rust, and Kory have all sponsored legislation for tuition equity for several years, despite it being consistently rejected by the Virginia General Assembly.
Under current law, to be domiciled in Virginia, a person must reside in Virginia and have the present intent to remain in Virginia indefinitely. According to the Attorney General’s Office, “Conferral of DACA by the Department of Homeland Security has the effect of making the DACA recipient lawfully present in the United States. …Once a student has had DACA for one year, he or she is eligible to establish domicile and qualify for in-state tuition.”
About The Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACOLAO): The Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACOLAO) is a coalition of non-profit organizations serving and supporting the Latino/Hispanic immigrant communities in Virginia. Since its foundation in 2002, VACOLAO have been advocating for the rights of Latino immigrant in the Commonwealth. VACOLAO works to empower, secure equal treatment, opportunity, and representation for Latinos/Hispanics. To achieve this mission VACOLAO has provided leadership for education and advocacy for Latino immigrants and immigrant advocate supporters.
For more infomation go to www.vacolao.org
If your previous period of deferred action expires before you receive a renewal of deferred action under DACA, you will accrue unlawful presence and will not be authorized to work for any time between the periods of deferred action. For this reason, USCIS encourages you to submit your request for renewal 120 days before your current period of deferred action under DACA expires.
An individual whose case was initially deferred under DACA by ICE may be considered for Renewal of DACA from USCIS if he or she:
- Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching his or her 16th birthday and established residence at that time;
- Has continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Did not depart the United States on or after August 15, 2012 without advance parole.
- Was present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making his or her request;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or his or her lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from a high school, has obtained a general educational development certificate, is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; or was in school at the time he or she requested DACA from ICE and: 1) has successfully completed an education, literacy, or career training program (including vocational training) and obtained employment, 2) is currently enrolled in high school, postsecondary school or a new/different education, literacy or career training program, or 3) has made substantial, measurable progress toward completing an education, literacy, or career training program and,
- Has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
USCIS will review your request to determine whether the exercise of prosecutorial discretion is appropriate in your case. Each case will be considered on an individual, case-by-case basis. Even if you satisfy the threshold criteria for consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, USCIS may determine, in its unreviewable discretion, that deferred action is not warranted in your case. You will be notified of the decision in writing. There is no motion to reopen/reconsider the decision and there is no right to appeal; however, USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence to obtain further evidence to demonstrate that you meet the guidelines.
For additional information on needed documentary evidence or to download the required forms, please visit www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals.