Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA)

What is Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA)?

DAPA is the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. It is a federal program that will grant temporary protection from deportation, employment authorization, and a social security numbers to certain undocumented immigrants. In order to be eligible for DAPA, one of the requirements is that the undocumented immigrant must have a son or daughter who is a United States citizen or have a son or daughter who has a green card.

November 20, 2014, President Obama announced DAPA as part of his Immigration Action. February 16, 2015, a federal court order delayed DAPA, making it so some aspects of DAPA are unclear and also making it so some aspects of DAPA are not being implemented, thus granting the relief it was intended to.

Who qualifies for DAPA?

In order to be considered eligible for DAPA, you must:

  • Have continuously lived in the United States since January 1, 2010;
  • Have been physically present in the United States on November 20, 2014, and at the time of making your request for consideration of DAPA with USCIS;
  • Not have had lawful status on November 20, 2014;
  • Have had a son or daughter of any age or marital status, who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident on November 20, 2014; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors; do not otherwise pose a threat to national security; and are not in enforcement priority for removal.

What Documents are needed to file for DAPA?

DAPA has not yet gone into effect and the start date is still not known. Due to this, the process for applying is not clear. While the forms for filing are unknown, if you do intend to eventually file for DAPA, you should start collecting the following:

  • Proof that you were in the U.S. on November 20, 2014;
  • Proof that your son or daughter is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
  • Proof of your relationship to your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident child;
  • Proof of your own identity;
  • Proof of having live in the U.S. since January 1, 2010; and
  • If you have a prior deportation or removal order, you need to check with an attorney or BIA-accredited representative before applying.

Current Cases that are changing DAPA:

DAPA has been on hold since February 2015 due to Andrew Hanen, a U.S. District Court Judge, ordering an injunction on the executive action. This is in response to Texas and 25 other states filing a lawsuit to stop the amnesty. The injunction was upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court.

A major issue that is being discussed, in regards to DAPA, is separation of powers. This has been violated by the President unilaterally seeking to grant “lawful presence’ to more than four million unauthorized aliens who are in the country unlawfully. If the Supreme Court approves the executive action, President Obama will only have seven months to enact his executive action. The issue with this is that if a Republican wins presidency, they will overturn the executive action. This makes it so everyone interested in applying for DAPA will be in limbo.

An Interesting Fact:

USCIS will not report your case to other law enforcement agencies if it is rejected for deportation reasons; however, USCIS will share your information for the following reasons:

  • Assisting in the consideration of the deferred action request;
  • To identify or prevent fraudulent claims;
  • For national security purposes;
  • For the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense; and or
  • This policy covers family members and guardians, in addition to you.

Contact Us

To discuss a DAPA and potential other immigration benefits that may apply to you with an experienced immigration attorney from the American Visa Law Group, feel free to click the contact us tab and fill out the inquiry form or call us at 510-500-1155.