News About The DACA Program
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We Have Good Things To Share With You About DACA!
We are celebrating the update that the DACA program is now back to its original form when it was announced back in 2012.
A brief history: It was announced in 2012 and to qualify for DACA, which is for the dreamers, you must have entered the US before 2007.
You were under the age of 16 at that time. You are now under the age of 39.
And then either you’re studying for your GED, you got your GED, graduated from high school and you can’t have a serious criminal history.
And if you have questions about specific criminal history stuff, feel free to reach out to us via a text or phone call or a Facebook message, if you do want to discuss your history.
Now many of the DACA recipients have renewed their cards. We were hoping that there would be some sort of congressional long-term fix. And then Trump was elected and he canceled the program in 2017.
But then there was a litigation — several lawsuits that finally reached The Supreme Court.
And while the lawsuits have been pending, the injunction that was covering DACA recipients basically held that people who already have DACA can renew, but people who were eligible for DACA, but never filed — we call that DACA initial — could not start it.
We weren’t able to do advanced parole. So it was a very restricted DACA program.
Then earlier this year over the summer, The Supreme Court ordered that the method by which Trump canceled the program was unlawful.
But in true Trump fashion, he didn’t comply with the court order. He and Acting Secretary Of Department Of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, issued a memo that went in direct contradiction to The Supreme Court order that they’re not accepting DACA initials. [Chad Wolf issued an order that stated] they’’re only doing renewals for one year and they’re not doing advanced parole.
More litigation ensued and a federal court decision (now twice) has ordered specifically that The Administration start accepting DACA initials.
Last Friday, the order came down that The Administration must publish on their website within three days that they’re accepting DACA initials.
First of all, let’s just celebrate this for a minute before we get into the nuts and bolts.
This is from the Department Of Homeland Security and it says, “We’re accepting first time requests. We’re doing renewal requests, we’re doing Advanced Parole and we’re doing it for two years.”
So it’s on their website. They are complying with the court order. Our democracy is intact.
Of course, this should be the way that it happened, but I think all of us have been a little afraid that our democracy was crumbling. And so I’m very relieved to see The Administration following the federal court’s orders. And things are right with the world.
Of course, we expect and hope for a more long term solution for our dreamers, of course, and their parents, et cetera.
But for right now, we can relax into DACA being re-instituted to its original parameters.
For the previous recipients of DACA that renew their work permit and granted for 1 year, are they going to receive another permit?
So you’re not going to automatically get an extension. Maybe when Biden takes office. We’ll see.
What’s actually happening is that The Trump Administration is continuing to fight this.
There’s actually a lawsuit currently pending, which is why it’s really important for DACA initials, especially if you guys are in that boat where you qualified back then, but you didn’t apply for whatever reason and you’ve just been basically out of luck this whole time, like ASAP right now, it’s a window of opportunity where the courts and the federal agencies are in agreement about the parameters of the program.
And yeah, we know Biden’s going to take office and we know he’s going to extend and potentially expand DACA, but there’s more litigation happening. And so I think we can expect more bumps on this DACA road.
And so if I were in that category of people, DACA eligible, never applied, I would be jumping on this moment right now to get a petition filed.
But to answer the question:
When we pull up the order, there is a paragraph that speaks specifically to this group towards the end that says that they will do something along the lines of them doing their best to provide additional extension.
But they didn’t really specify how that’s going to look like — whether it’s going to be a work permit or just an extension notice. I don’t believe that they need to renew.
And whoever’s in that category: take appropriate steps to provide evidence of the one-year extensions of deferred action.
The way that they tend to do these extensions is that they’ll either publish a memo or there’ll be a federal regulation that automatically extends people in this certain category. They’ve done that with TPS before.
So you have to take the expired permit and then couple it with the memo or the regulation that automatically extends people in that category, and you can use that for DPS, jobs, etcetera.
But I also think by the time the people in this category get to the point where their one-year is expiring, it’ll be a little bit different.
Because if you’ve filed in July, you got a one-year work permit that expires in August.
Right now the rule of thumb is to file about six months out. You should file about six months out from an expiration.
And you guys will probably have more information by the time it’s necessary to re-file.
Six months before your work permit expires should be when you’re renewing. We’ll be continuing to update you guys.
So if you’re a follower of our page, you’ll stay up to date. But we’re not charging you for consultations at the moment so if you have any questions about this, just call us at 512-599-8500 and we’ll help talk you through it in the meantime.
A good reminder would be to make sure that you update your address, if you have moved, with USCIS.
So that’s in case they do send out new employment cards to your validity, then they would most likely send it to your last address that they had. So if you moved, it’s really easy to go online.
Google USCIS change of address. The form is AR-11. Update your address with them, so that they have your newest address.
And you can just file online.
There’s an additional step for those of you who have a pending case. You want to make sure to fill out that second part where you put the receipt notice in, because otherwise they don’t attach your address to your pending applications.
So that’s an important second step.
And of course, we’re just clawing our way back to where we were before Trump, but it’s good to live a life of gratitude and celebrate when you can. So that’s my perspective.
One other thing we talked about this morning in our team meeting, in relation to this update, is Advanced Parole.
If you are a DACA recipient that is eligible for Advance Parole, the order says that they’re accepting Advanced Parole. Advance Parole gives a DACA recipient the permission to travel outside of the country.
And there’s three ways that you can get Advance Parole: humanitarian, education, or employment.
Humanitarian is if you’re visiting a sick relative, for example.
Education, if you have a study abroad program with school, or there’s some school trip that’s happening.
And employment is obviously if your job or there’s a conference you need to attend or something like that.
So you apply to get Advance Parole and you get this document that you take with your work permit and your valid passport from your home country and you travel and you can come back in and you get the stamp on your documents.
Advance Parole is great because you get to travel, but it can also give you a legal entry, which can be helpful for adjusting status to getting a green card.
If you marry a U.S. citizen and you originally entered without a visa, but then you get Advance Parole, well, now you’ve got a legal entry and it makes the green card process a little bit easier because you get to do the adjustment rather than the consular process.
So this is another thing to think about for DACA holders.
Both people who are applying for initial and for DACA renewals, now’s a great time to submit your Advance Parole application.
And the thing is, you put your expected or anticipated date of travel in, and it gives you like a deadline to travel. So if you’re like, “I don’t know when I’m going to go, but I think I might want to go when there’s a vaccine or whatever.”
I would say, go ahead and do Advance Parole applications now and set it for August or something. So then you’ve got this whole window of time to conduct your trip. And that’s something that we can help you guys do in our office. We used to do a lot of Advance Parole and we’re really looking forward to doing it again.
Some of my favorite happy client pictures are the pictures when our clients get to finally hug their grandma or their mom.
For the initials, go ahead and start or think about it really fast. Because you are kind of under a deadline, because the statement says that they may seek relief from this new action that they were put under.
So now’s the chance to apply if you are going to apply for it.
And then you do have to prove the continuous presence since 2007. And what that looked like for the last couple of initial applications that we sent in was a document per month for that continuous presence.
So it’s a lot of documents, but definitely something you want to get started on as soon as you can.
What Kinds Of Documents People Should Be Gathering?
Any official document, like any bill, any sort of document that had your name, your address, or even a letterhead from a business here in the United States and also the date.
If that document has all those three, then you can go ahead and use them.
Some easy ways to do it is if you have been in school this whole time, then you can get school records, medical records, lease contracts, bank statements, or phone bills.
There’s endless possibilities, but that’s probably the hardest part about this for people is proving that physical presence.
And we’re really focused on that five-year window between 2007 and 2012. So at this point now we’re talking 13 years ago so it’s harder to get the evidence.
And one of our hopes is that when Biden takes office that he’ll not only acknowledge the DACA program as it is in existence now, but then he might even expand the program to include people who are older, who maybe entered later because the program was announced eight years ago.
We want to recognize everyone who’s been here for at least five years, but if they were to make that same assessment today, that would mean anyone who entered before 2015 would qualify.
So a whole lot more people would be eligible!
Some of the most heartbreaking stories for DACA are when people entered in August of 2007 or just barely qualified. So hopefully we’ll get to see more people qualifying for the program.
For now, we’re back to the way it was in 2012.
You have to have entered before 2007, have been here ever since, and entered under the age of 16.
If you have arrests, they have to be minor, not significant misdemeanors or felonies, which we can talk through with you on a one-on-one basis. You do not have to have graduated from high school.
That’s a common concern that people have. “I didn’t graduate.” That’s okay. You can enroll in a G.E.D. program and qualify for DACA.
You have to have been born after June 15th of 1981.
So that means that right now, today, you’re under the age of 39 to qualify.
So we are here. Ready to help you guys get these going!
We actually have a lot of clients who got started on their DACA initials after this Supreme Court order who have been just sort of waiting. So I think it’ll be fun to get those going.
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