During the summer of 2012, President Barack Obama signed into law the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Under this program, any of the close of 1.7 million illegal immigrants, who were brought into the U.S. as children, could qualify to stay in the country for a period of two years. Once granted DACA consideration, these individuals are protected from being deported, they are eligible to receive a work permit, they can get a driver's license, they can get a social security number and they can pay taxes. The only major downside is that the DACA does not offer a legal path to U.S. Citizenship. After two years, the individual must re-apply for consideration.
As of now, close to 20,000 illegal immigrants from the state of Florida, and more than 438,000 illegal immigrants nationwide, have sent in requests. It is estimated that more than half of those requests have already been approved, while close to 120,000 others are still waiting to find out whether or not they will be approved.
There are, however, certain qualifications which must be met in order for an individual to request consideration under this new law. According to the Department of Homeland Security, an individual may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals providing they:
- were under the age of 31 on June 15th, 2012;
- came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday;
- have resided in the U.S. continuously from June 15, 2007 up to the present time;
- were physically in the United States on June 15, 2012 and they were also in the states when their request for consideration of deferred action was made;
- entered the U.S. without inspection prior to June 15, 2012, or their lawful immigration status had expired by June 15, 2012;
- are currently in school, have a diploma or GED certificate, or they are an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard; and
- they have never been convicted of three or more minor misdemeanors, any significant misdemeanor or a felony, and they do not pose a threat to public safety or national security.
Being an illegal immigrant in the United States, especially if you originally entered the states as a minor child, can be a terrifying and daunting experience. Without legal documentation, finding work will be difficult, if not impossible and being forced to leave the states and the only life you know, is all but unthinkable. That is whereBrown Immigration Law can help.
Even as an illegal immigrant, you do have options and you do have rights. Contact a Winter Park immigration attorney at our firm today so that we can review your current situation, advise you of your legal rights, work with you closely to submit your request and provide you with the aggressive representation you deserve.