DEFERRED ACTION FOR PARENTAL ACCOUNTABILITY (DAPA)
On November 20, 2014, President Obama addressed the nation to announce his plans for a new immigration program available to parents of U.S. citizen (USC) or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) children. President Obama announced a program called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA),which will allow millions of undocumented immigrants to obtain work authorizations and to live without fear of deportations. Parents of USC or LPR children, who have been present in the U.S. since January 1, 2010 and who clear a criminal background check will be able to apply for this program. It is unclear at this moment if those who meet all the criteria but have previously been deported qualify. We will update this blog once this question is answered by the authorities. Applications for this program can be submitted approximately 180 days after President Obama's announcement (i.e., on May 19, 2015). We expect much more clarification between now and then as to who is eligible to apply.
CHANGES TO DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOLD ARRIVALS (DACA)
As part of President Obama's executive action, the eligibility criteria for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has been changed. As a quick review, the eligibility criteria for DACA, as announced on June 15, 2012 was as follows:
- Must have been 30 years old or younger as of June 15, 2012;
- Must have entered the U.S. before the age of 16;
- Must have been continuously present in the U.S. since June 15, 2007;
- Must have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
- Must have completed high school or a GED program OR be enrolled in high school or a GED program;
- Must not have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors.
President Obama announced that two eligibility criteria will change: first, there will be no age cap for DACA applicants; and second, each applicant must have been continuously present in the U.S. since January 1, 2010. These changes mean that many more undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children will now be able to apply for DACA.
President Obama's address to the nation can be seen here: