NO LONGER DREAMING: Questions & Answers About D.A.P.
On June 15, 2012 President Obama announced that certain young people, who were brought to this country at a very young age, who pose no threat to national security or public safety and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings.
This small group of people are comprised of the young illegal immigrants known generally as DREAMers after the DREAM Act, legislation that has failed several times in Congress that would legalize some illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. This new immigration policy, ordered by President Obama, does not require Congressional approval because it is framed as policy of the Agency rather than law passed by Congress and signed by the President. Although this policy stops short of legalizing individuals, qualifying DREAMers will nonetheless greatly benefit from the governments new focus on its priorities.
The General Requirements for Consideration Are:
1. Came to the United States under the age of sixteen
2. Have Continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012
3. Were present in the United States as of June 15, 2012
4. Are currently in school, have graduated from high school or have obtained a GED
5. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
6. Are not above the age of thirty
The government will require verifiable documentation to establish the above criteria and only then will an applicant be eligible for deferred action or prosecutorial discretion. It is important to remember that the governments uses of discretion does NOT yet confer any substantive right, immigration status, or pathway to citizenship.
Q. Will EVERY person qualify under this program?
A. No! The government has adopted a case-by-case basis analysis. All supporting documents will be evaluated and considered separately. Also, not all cases granted deferred action will qualify for a work permit. It is VERY important that a well prepared package be presented to the Department of Homeland Security to have the strongest chance to be approved?
Q. How soon will I receive my Work Authorization Card?
A. There is no telling how long it will take. One thing we know for sure, there are nearly 800,000 individuals who qualify for this program. We urge our clients to ‘first in line’ to avoid potentially lengthy waits. Collect your documents early, prepare the application early, file early and get your work authorization early!
Q. Will I receive a Green Card or Citizenship Through this Program?
A. No. This program is not intended to be a replacement for permanent residence or citizenship. This program is not amnesty and this program is not the DREAM ACT. It will, however, provide the sense of security from the threat of deportation and provide you with work authorization in the meantime.
Q. What if I am already in Removal Proceedings(Deporation)?
A. If an alien is identified as satisfying the above criteria, ICE should offer the alien prosecutorial discretion and immediately offer deferred action, thereby suspending your deportation from further pursuit.
Q. How long does this deferred action last?
A. Currently, the deferred action will last for a period of two years, subject to Renewal.
Q. Will I be able to get a Social Security Number?
A. Yes! When an employment authorization document (EAD) is issued, a simple visit to the Social Security Administration office with proper I.D. will grant you a social security number.
Q. Will I be able to get a Drivers’ licesne?
A. The answer to this question is unknown at this time. Because you are not granted legal status in the United States, the DMV may not issue drivers licenses to people granted deferred action.