On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced executive actions to address problems in our immigration system including an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the creation of the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program.
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The Advocates for Human Rights and Pillsbury United Communities are partnering to provide free DAPA information sessions, filing workshops, and legal consultations in Minneapolis. For those living in or traveling to Minneapolis, Minnesota, stop by our information kiosk at Mercado Central for information about DAPA and to sign up for a filing workshop and attorney consultation. Our kiosk will be open throughout 2015. Mercado Central is located at 1515 E. Lake Street, in Minneapolis.
Not in Minnesota? Find free legal services in your area at the iAmerica website.
To find an immigration attorney in your area, visit the website of the American Immigration Lawyer's Association.
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STOP because while there is a lot of excitement around the president’s announcement of the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program, the truth is that not everyone will be eligible.
WAIT until the details are released. The government expected to accept requests for the DAPA program starting in May 2015. Do not believe notarios or other unauthorized consultants who promise immediate action in order to steal your money.
TALK to a qualified immigration attorney. ASK questions. REPORT notarios who are trying to take advantage of you.
Learn more at stopnotariofraud.org
An estimated 4.4 million people nationwide are believed to be eligible for the DAPA program. Existing immigration legal services alone will not be able to meet the need. Volunteer attorneys, interpreters, and translators can help ensure that people get sound advice about their eligibility for the program and other immigration options they may have.
The Advocates for Human Rights needs volunteer attorneys in Minnesota to assist at DAPA filing workshops and to assist with immigration, tax, and employment issues. Spanish-language interpreters and translators are also needed to assist at workshops.
Not in Minnesota? Connect with volunteer opportunities in your community here http://www.adminrelief.org/opportunities/
Frequently Asked Questions
What is deferred action?
Under deferred action, the government will not place people who meet certain requirements into deportation proceedings. It is sort of like the government saying: “We know you are in the country without permission or lawful immigration status, and we could deport you, but we will postpone any action on deporting you.” It does not mean that a person with an approved deferred action request has legal immigration status, a visa, or a green card. It is not a path to citizenship. A person with deferred action is protected from deportation temporarily and is eligible for a work permit.
What did the president announce in November 2014?
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced changes to immigration policy. These changes included creating the new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program and expanding the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DAPA and DACA are immigration programs that allow those who qualify to stay in the United States and get permission to work for three years.
Who qualifies for DAPA?
The Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program will provide protection from deportation and a work permit to certain parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who have lived in the United States since January 1, 2010. To qualify for DAPA, you must:
1. have at least one child of any age who is a U.S. citizen or LPR, and who was born on or before November 20, 2014;
2. have continuously resided in the U.S. since before January 1, 2010;
3. have been in the U.S. and out of status on November 20, 2014;
4. be in the US when you apply; and
5. not be an enforcement priority for removal pursuant to the November 20, 2014 memorandum entitled Policies for the Apprehension, Detention, and Removal of Undocumented.
Applicants will be required to undergo background checks (biometrics). Applications will be decided on a case-by-case basis and adjudicators may consider “other factors that, in the exercise of discretion, makes the grant of deferred action inappropriate.”
Who is an “enforcement priority for removal”?
Not everyone will be eligible for DAPA. The bars to DAPA are different from—and more expansive than—the bars to DACA. You will be barred from DAPA and will be subject to removal if you have convictions for felonies, significant misdemeanors, three or more non-significant misdemeanors, or pose a threat to national security or public safety. You will also be barred from DAPA if you are found to be one of the three priorities for enforcement:
• Priority One focuses on people who are “threats to national security, border security, and public safety.” This includes: persons suspected of having involvement with gangs, spies, or terrorists; persons convicted of a felony (defined under state law) or an “aggravated felony;” and persons apprehended at the borders while attempting to enter unlawfully.
• Priority Two focuses on people who are “misdemeanants and new immigration violators.” This includes: persons convicted of three or more misdemeanors, not including minor traffic offenses and state convictions where immigration status is an element; visa “abusers;” persons without status who have not been continuously present in the U.S. since January 1, 2014; and persons with convictions for a significant misdemeanor. A “significant misdemeanor” is defined as an offense of domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, burglary, unlawful possession or use of a firearm, drug distribution or trafficking, driving under the influence, or any misdemeanor for which the person was sentenced to serve 90 days or more in jail, not counting suspended sentences.
• Priority three focuses on people who have “other immigration violations.” This priority only names “those who have been issued a final order of removal on or after January 1, 2014.”
What should I do if I think I might be barred?
Consult with a qualified immigration attorney before you make any decisions. Immigration law is complicated, and an experienced immigration attorney can help you decide whether you are barred or fall within an exception. Free legal help may be available or you can hire an attorney for a consultation. Attorneys often charge an affordable consultation fee to meet for an hour to evaluate your case. To find an immigration attorney in your area go to http://www.ailalawyer.com/
I think I’m eligible for DAPA. How do I file?
Wait! You cannot file anything yet. The government expects to begin receiving requests for DAPA sometime in May 2015.
You can start preparing to file by gathering the evidence you will need and saving money for the filing fee. You will need documents proving who you are; your continuous presence in the U.S. since January 1, 2010; your presence in the U.S. on November 20, 2014; and that you are the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident child. The filing fee will be $465.
What is Expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, first established on June 15, 2012 to provide deferred action and work permits to people who arrived in the U.S. as children and meet certain other requirements, was expanded by the President’s November 20, 2014, announcement. Under the expansion, people who arrived in the United States before age 16 may qualify for DACA, even if they were over 31 as of June 2012.
Expanded DACA applications can be filed beginning in February 2015.
Attorneys, advocates, community-based organizations, service providers, and faith communities can access helpful resources about DAPA, expanded DACA, and new enforcement guidelines, including presentations and screening tools, at http://www.adminrelief.org/
People who are interested in applying for DAPA or expanded DACA can stay up-to-date about the application process at http://iamerica.org/
Learn to protect yourself and your community from fraud at www.stopnotariofraud.org
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The Advocates for Human Rights
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Minneapolis, MN 55401
Immigrant Client Line: 612-341-9845