San Antonio, TX – Good news for thousands of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients in Texas and other states. Following months of uncertainty, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued its final regulation meant to preserve and fortify DACA, regulation which comes into effect on October 31, 2022. According to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the final rule will maintain and strengthen the DACA program for certain eligible non-citizens who arrived in the US as children, shielding them from removal and allowing them an opportunity to obtain a renewable, two-year work permit.
Launched in 2012, under President Obama, DACA has allowed over 800,000 young people to remain in the country where they grew up, went to school, learned a trade, and started a family.
“Today, we are taking another step to do everything in our power to preserve and fortify DACA, an extraordinary program that has transformed the lives of so many Dreamers,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Thanks to DACA, we have been enriched by young people who contribute so much to our communities and our country. Yet, we need Congress to pass legislation that provides an enduring solution for the young Dreamers who have known no country other than the United States as their own.”
The final rule as presented by the DHS:
- Maintains the existing threshold criteria for DACA
- Retains the existing process for DACA applicants to seek work permits
- Affirms the longstanding policy that DACA is not a form of lawful status, but that, nevertheless, DACA recipients are considered “lawfully present” for certain purposes
- Clarifies that DACA recipients should not be a priority for removal.
Who is eligible for DACA?
If you are one of the Dreamers currently living in Texas, you need to reach out to a seasoned San Antonio immigration lawyer to get help applying for DACA. Here are the requirements you must meet to qualify for DACA:
- Be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
- Have arrived in the US while you were under the age of 16
- Have lived continuously in the US for five years before DACA was introduced, which means since June 15, 2007
- Entered US territory without inspection, illegally that is, or your legal status (visa) expired before June 15, 2012.
- Are in school or have graduated from a school in the US, have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the armed forces or Coast Guard.
- Have not been found guilty of a criminal offense, a serious misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors
- Do not pose a threat to public safety or national security.
One of the most sensitive aspects is your record. If you have certain offenses on your record you must talk to an experienced lawyer in San Antonio. Unfortunately, many potential applicants who otherwise qualify for DACA are discouraged because they have a misdemeanor or a traffic offense on their record and they’re afraid they might be taking an unnecessary risk by applying. A knowledgeable lawyer can tell you whether the offenses on your record make you ineligible for DACA or if there’s any risk in applying.
If you think you may be eligible for DACA or have problems with your DACA renewal application, get in touch with an experienced immigration lawyer at the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen, serving the San Antonio area. They’ll make sure your papers are in order and they’ll help you file an application, so you won’t have to live with the fear of being deported anymore.
San Antonio, TX
206 East Locust Street
San Antonio, TX 78212
Phone: (210) 769-3273
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