White House Expands Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) Program

Many experienced Texas immigration lawyers and their clients have watched the playing field change in recent months, as the White House has announced executive action on immigration reform in a number of areas.

One of the changes covered most by the media is an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  But other changes, including those made to the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program, also open up opportunities for families to stay together in the United States.

To be eligible for deferred action under DAPA, a person must:

  • Be the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
  • Have lived continuously in the United States since January 1, 2010;
  • Have no lawful immigration status; and
  • Have not been convicted of any criminal felony or of certain misdemeanors.

There are certain fees that must be paid as part of the DAPA process, and a background check will be carried out.

Parents who wish to seek deferred action under DAPA may begin submitting applications in early 2015, according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  However, it is wise to speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible if you want to begin the DAPA process.  Your attorney can help you determine whether you qualify for DAPA or another immigration program, and begin gathering the information you will need to build a strong case for deferring action in your case.

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