President Obama Announces New Deferred Action Program—Avoid Immigration Fraud!

There has been a great deal of excitement since President Barack Obama announced a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program last month for parents who have been in the United States since before January 1, 2010 and who have a child who is a US citizen or a Lawful Permanent Residents. The President is also expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

 DAPA Program Eligibility Requirements

Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) Program will enable undocumented parents of U.S.-born children to apply for a three-year deferral from deportation and work permit. The DAPA program:

  •  Provides protection from deportation for three years
  •  Allows an applicant to apply for work authorization that lasts three years.
  •  Participants may re-apply after three years
  •  Does NOT grant individuals permanent immigration status. The program may change or be terminated in the future.
  •  Participants may also apply for a social security number and, in some states, may apply for a driver’s license.

The parent may be eligible if:

  •  The parent has at least at one child of any age who is a US citizen or LPR, and who was born on or before November 20, 2014;
  •  Has continuously lived in the US since before January 1, 2010;
  •  Was in the U.S. and out of status on November 20, 2014, the date President Obama announced the program; and
  •  Has not been convicted of certain crimes or engaged in certain illegal activity.

The application cost will be $465.

 Changes to DACA Eligibility

The President also made some changes to the DACA program. DACA is extended for children brought here undocumented by their parents. It remains open to applications, but beginning around February 20, 2015, the following expanded criteria will take into effect:

  •  child came to the US before the age of 16 (there is no longer an upper age limit to apply);
  •  Has continuously lived in the US since before January 1, 2010;
  •  Has met certain educational criteria, such having a high school diploma or enrolling in an adult education class, including certain vocational education, ESL or GED classes;
  • Has not committed certain crimes or engaged in certain illegal activity; and,
  • Has no lawful status as of June 15, 2012.

The period of deferred action and work authorization has been changed to three years instead of two years for new applications and renewals.

According the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation’s Amagda Perez, the first step in the DAPA and DACA process is to collect documents showing a continuous five-year presence. “Medical records, birth certificates for U.S.-citizen children, pay stubs, tax records using the federal government’s 110 forms and rental documents will be very helpful,” Perez told the media. “Residents in rural communities who have been paid in cash will have a harder time, but church and school records, proof of farmworker training programs, citizenship or English-as-a-second-language classes will help, she said.”

Start Gathering Documents Now to Help Prove Eligibility

Farmworker Justice has offered the following on how to prepare documents for the DAPA program:

  • Proof of your identity: such as your passport, matrícula consular, or birth certificate and a photo ID. Visit your country’s consulate to obtain one of these documents if you do not already have them.
  • Proof that you were in the US on November 20, 2014: Provide proof that you were in the US on a date as close as possible to Nov. 20, 2014. See the list of examples below.
  • Proof that you have a US citizen or LPR child: For example, your child’s birth certificate with your name on it.
  • Proof that you have been in the country for at least 5 years since before January 1, 2010: Collect documents that include your name and date to show you have been in the US since before January 1, 2010 up to the date of your application.

Examples of documents that may be used to show presence in the US:

  • Proof of employment: W-2s, tax returns, pay stubs or other pay receipts from your jobs (past and present); photocopies of checks if you are paid by check; letter from your current employer on their letterhead stating the dates of employment
  • Union membership records
  • Bank statements, cancelled checks, and money order receipts
  • Billing statements or receipts (phone, electricity, water, rent, insurance, car insurance)
  • Leases, rental agreements, property titles (house, car)
  • Medical records: yours or your child’s if it includes your name
  • Driver’s license or photo ID (the date issued on the card can be used)
  • School records or other attendance certificates (if it is your child’s record, it should have your name on it).

Farmworker Justice, La Cooperativa Campesina, the United Farm Workers, The California Rural Legal Assistance, and other organizations will be assisting applicants in completing the process.

For more information visit www.farmworkerjustice.org, www.lacooperativa.org, and www.sisepuede.org

For general information, contact the Consulate General of Mexico office, at 2093 Arena Blvd. in Sacramento, by calling (916) 329-3500. You can also visit the consulate on the web at: http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/sacramento/. The consulate also will provide a mobile app, “Mi Consulmex,” and answer questions at (855) 463-6395 or make appointments at (877) 639-4835.