On January 20th, 2021 President Biden reinstated DACA by signing an executive order that preserves and fortifies DACA. In the executive order, eligible DACA participants are able to apply for temporary work permits and residency after having passed a background check. They are also able to apply for temporary “relief from removal,” or deportation. These provisions create a pathway for Dreamers to pursue U.S. citizenship after getting residency. For further information on the details of the executive order, contact Attorney Eric Price.

Attorney Eric Price has represented over 1,000 immigration cases. His extensive experience was formed during the years in which he worked under both the Bush and Obama administration. If you are looking for an immigration attorney who has a nuanced understanding of the various sides and complexities of immigration law, Attorney Eric Price will be able to help you and can be reached at 855-662-2772.

What is the DACA Program?

The DACA program was created on June 15th, 2012, under the Obama administration. It was in response to the inability of congress to pass the DREAM Act in both chambers. Under DACA, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a two year deferment against deportation is granted if the applicant meets certain conditions. This is predominantly used for young children or teenagers who crossed a U.S. border illegally with their parents or relatives.

During this deferment, an applicant can apply for a work visa and residency, or to join the military, and thus be granted the ability to stay in the U.S. longer. After establishing residency, it is possible for an applicant to pursue U.S. citizenship. There are a number of conditions that must be met in order to be eligible for the DACA program, they will be listed below.

DACA Under Trump

The majority of Trump’s administration was hostile toward immigration in general. It came as no surprise to see Trump threaten to end DACA in 2017 unless congress was able to pass legislation that codified DACA’s provisions. However, Trump only waited two days and ended DACA during his administration. These DACA changes led to lawsuits from numerous jurisdictions which were filed almost immediately.

After a series of court cases, DACA was reinstated. The supreme court ruled on November 12, 2019 that the Trump administration improperly ended the DACA program. After this ruling, DACA eligible residents would be able to resume applying for DACA. However, there were still persistent errors and improperly denied applications for DACA eligible people.

What is Changing for Dreamers?

President Biden’s executive order preserves applicants’ abilities to defer their deportations and apply for residency. Along with his goal to fortify DACA, he is also calling on congress to reform DACA and pass legislation that will allow Dreamers to apply for permanent residency and U.S. citizenship after three years in the DACA program. Since its creation, a little under 800,000 people have signed up for DACA. Preserving and fortifying this benefit for immigrants will help hundreds of thousands of people in the US.

President Biden has also urged congress to pass legislation that will allow other undocumented immigrants who entered illegaly the opportunity to apply for residency after five years and citizenship after eight years. For those who pay close attention to DACA news, these changes are significantly progressive and will help to open the door for more people to pursue U.S. citizenship.

With Dreamers who meet the conditions to apply for permanent residency, it means that they have been granted authority to live and work in the US. However, this does not mean they are yet a citizen of the US, and they remain a citizen of another country. Additionally, this is the stage in which people are given permanent residency cards, commonly known as “Green cards.”

There are numerous benefits that accompany being granted permanent residency. The first is that after five years, a permanent resident can apply for U.S. citizenship. This can also be done in three years if married to a U.S. citizen. Permanent residents are also able to travel in and out of the U.S. more freely. They can also sponsor certain family members for green cards or visas.

Who Qualifies for the DACA Program?

There are numerous requirements to be eligible for the DACA program. They primarily involve age, residency, and criminal background. The requirements for the DACA program are as follows:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.
  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday.
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time.
  4. 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.
  5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012, meaning that:
  • You never had a lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012, or
  • Any lawful immigration status or parole that you obtained prior to June 15, 2012, had expired as of June 15, 2012;
  1. 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.
  2. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

The above guidelines for eligibility are taken directly from U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services. Reviewing their website and guidelines are a great start for learning the complicated processes and steps that are taken in the immigration process.

What are the Next Steps?

Applying for residency can be a daunting task; however, there are some steps you can take to ease the transition. First, make sure to collect as much evidence of your residency, proof of identity, and length of time you have been in the US. After you have collected that evidence, make sure to make plenty of copies. DACA reform seems to be an important goal of the Biden administration, it is wise to stay up to date on DACA news and executive orders that may be issued.

Here are the instructions from the USCIS website on applying for DACA, and here is the form that accompanies the instructions and must be filled out.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

The process for applying for DACA or permanent residency is long, complicated, and stressful. If you want to make sure you get through the process error-free and with an attorney who will help you pursue your dream in America, contact Attorney Eric Price at info@abogadoericprice.com or 855-662-2772.

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