Executive Action

EN ESPAÑOL

Donate

On November 20, 2014, President Barack Obama announced executive orders creating temporary relief for undocumented immigrants in order to prevent further separation of families. Those who qualify will be protected from deportation for not having lawful status. The temporary relief will allow most people who qualify to obtain work authorization.

What is executive action?

The president’s executive action includes a series of orders allowing certain undocumented people who qualify to remain in the United States under certain conditions:

1) Deferred Action– Certain undocumented individuals who qualify will be given deferred action.  This status is where the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) declines to pursue the deportation of undocumented immigrants who could otherwise face deportation.  Essentially, DHS says, “We know you are here undocumented, and so we could deport you, but we will defer doing that and let you stay for now.” In addition, work authorization will be given to those who are eligible.  Deferred action is not a law; it is a directive from the Obama administration and it is possible that it can be overturned by the next President who takes office.

2) Provisional Waivers -The executive action of the president will also allow spouses, sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and U.S. citizens, apply for provisional waivers of unlawful presence, which would prevent them from facing a 3 or 10 year bar from re-entering the United States when in the process of applying for legal status.

CARECEN will be offering informational sessions regarding the executive action twice a week. The info sessions are free and in Spanish. Please click here for dates and times of upcoming sessions. 

Am I eligible?

The executive action benefits will be open to any undocumented person who meets certain criteria, regardless of whether they currently face, or have in the past faced, deportation.  These benefits could be available to the following people:

1.  Expansion of DACA – Individuals who entered the United States by January 1, 2010, and remained continuously present, and were under 16 years old when they initially entered.

2. Deferred Action for parents- Undocumented parents in the U.S. who, on November 20, 2014, is the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and have been in the United States since January 1, 2010.

3. Provisional Waivers – Undocumented individuals who have resided unlawfully in the United States for at least 180 days and who are sons and daughters of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, or spouses of lawful permanent residents.

 

The Details of Each Benefit:

As stated above, there are 3 main benefits arising out of the president’s executive action.  The details of each benefit are below:

 

**Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Who is eligible?

Undocumented individuals eligible for DACA (see DACA requirements) who resided in the U.S. since January 1, 2010, and who entered before turning 16 years old.

What are the changes?

    • Allows individuals born prior to June 15, 1981, to apply for DACA (removing the age limit of 31) provided they meet all other requirements (See DACA fact sheet)
    • Requires continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010, rather than the prior requirement of June 15, 2007.
    • Extends the deferred action period and employment authorization to three years from the current two years.

When can I apply?

Approximately 90 days following the President’s November 20, 2014, announcement.

 

**Deferred Action for Parents of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA)

Who is eligible?

An undocumented individual living in the United States who, on November 20, 2014, is the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

What are the changes?

Allows parents to request deferred action and employment authorization if they:

  • Have continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010;
  • Are the parents of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident born on or before November 20, 2014;
  • Are not an enforcement priority for removal, meaning:
    • They are not a threat to national security, border security, and public safety
    • They have not been convicted of 3 or more misdemeanors (other than minor traffic offenses) or a “significant misdemeanor” in the United States, pursuant to the November 20, 2014, Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants Memorandum.

When can I apply?

Approximately 180 days following the President’s November 20, 2014, announcement.

 

**Provisional Waivers of Unlawful Presence when applying for residency

Who is eligible?

Undocumented individuals who have resided unlawfully in the United States for at least 180 days and who are:

  • The sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; or
  • The spouse and sons or daughters of lawful permanent residents.

What are the changes?

    • Expands the provisional waiver program by allowing the spouses, sons or daughters of lawful permanent residents and sons and daughters of U.S. citizens to get a waiver if a visa is available if they establish that their relative will suffer extreme hardship if they are barred from the United States.* There may be instances when the qualifying relative is not the petitioner.
    • Clarifies the meaning of the “extreme hardship” standard that must be met to obtain a waiver.

   * Currently, only spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens are allowed to apply to obtain a provisional waiver if a visa is available.

When can I apply?

No firm date announced yet.  Individuals will be able to apply once USCIS issues guidelines and regulations.

 

Seven Ways to Prepare to Apply!

You cannot apply for these benefits now, but you can prepare for when the application period opens:

1. Start saving money. The process will cost $465.

2. Start organizing documents which verify your identity. Begin the process to obtain your passport or birth certificate.

3. Start organizing documents which verify your presence in the U.S. since January 1, 2010 (paystubs, utility and telephone bills, rent payments, etc.)

4. Start organizing documents which verify your relationship to your children who are a legal permanent resident or citizen (their birth certificates, immigration documents)

5. If you have received an order of deportation, or have ever been detained by immigration, it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.

6. If you have ever been arrested or have a criminal record, it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.

7. At this moment, you can not apply for any of these benefits. There is a waiting period before anyone can apply. Avoid individuals who want to charge for “starting the process” right after the announcement. Seek help from individuals and entities which are authorized to provide immigration-related legal assistance. Notaries are not attorneys. 

 

For more information about the new regulations, please contact CARECEN at (202) 328-9799.