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DACA, Immigration and Understanding Dreamers

DACA (Dreamer recipients) have been a major focus in the news. The failure to legalize DACA is of such political importance that the government shutdown.

The program, named "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" is an important part of immigration that helps many foreigners seek residency in the United States. Obama's memo on the matter allows people under the following to apply for DACA:

  • Under 31 as of June 15, 2012
  • Came to the US before their 16th birthday
  • Resided in the US since June 15, 2007
  • Maintained no lawful status as of June 15, 2012
  • Currently attending schooling or graduated from high school
  • Never committed a felony offense

The USCIS claims that less than 4.5% of dreamers are infants and the majority are 18 – 30 years of age.

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on September 5th that the Trump administration planned to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but DACA recipients may have other options available to help avoid inconveniences," states The Shapiro Law Group.

But dreamers are not permanent residents, nor do they gain legal status in the United States for the rest of their lives. DACA recipients receive a 2 – 3 year work permit that allows them to stay in the country and not receive legal status.

Lawmakers are proposing a 12-year path to gain citizenship for 800,000 people, but DACA is a main sticking point for politicians and has been used as a tool to control political talks.

Lawyers and attorneys can help many Dreamers and anyone else wanting to come into the country seek alternative measures that allow for a legal means of entry.

Dreamers were children that were brought into the country illegally, raised and then wanted to stay in the country that they know and love.

Options for DACA Recipients

If lawmakers choose not to renew DACA, there are options for Dreamers to remain in the country.

  • Immigration Visa. A person can apply for an immigration visa if they have a relative that is a US Citizen or Green Card holder that will petition on their behalf.
  • Marriage. A DACA recipient that is married to a U.S. citizen and has a recorded legal entry into the country may be allowed to stay in the country under INA 245(a).

A major issue following Dreamers is that if they were in the country in an undocumented capacity for years, they will be "inadmissible" and cannot apply for an immigration visa. If a person was in the country illegally before applying for DACA and applies for an immigration visa, they will be barred from the US for 3 – 10 years.

But those that were under 18 and were DACA approved will not be subject to an illegal entry.

What this means is that these individuals, if they do not let their DACA lapse while remaining in the country, will be able to bypass the 3 – 10 year ban against them. These individuals will be able to apply for an immigration visa.

Immigration attorneys can explain the options that DACA recipients have, but lawmakers are fighting to keep DACA going.

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