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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Attorney Mitchell J. Cohen

Attorney Mitchell J. Cohen

DHS (Department of Homeland Security) has implemented a new process whereby certain foreign nationals who entered the U.S. before their 16th birthday may be considered for “deferred action,” which if granted, allows them to obtain an employment authorization document, and permission to remain in the U.S. for a temporary period of time.
The following criteria are the general criteria of the program:

  1. Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.
  2. Came to the United States before reaching his or her 16th birthday;
  3. Have continuously resided in the United states since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. Was present in the United States on June 15, 2007, and at the time of making his or her request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012.
  6. Are currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an honorable discharged veteran of Coast Guard or Armed Forces of United States; and
  7. Has not convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

There are additional wrinkles to the program. It is strongly suggested you consult with an immigration attorney to determine your eligibility for the program, and to advise you of any adverse consequences that may flow from filing the DACA application.

Filing the innocuous-looking Form I-821D is part of a process that may be fraught with hidden perils. For example, an individual who has an outstanding order of removal, deportation or exclusion, whose DACA applications is denied, faces the possibility that DHS will execute the outstanding order and remove him or her from the United States. Applicants who left the United States after an order of removal and then reentered the United States (generally within 10 years of departing) face felony prosecution for “criminal reentry.”

Additionally, DHS generally takes a broader view of the term “conviction” – and will view a withheld adjudication or suspended sentence as a conviction so long as there was a plea of no contest or guilty and some form of penalty was imposed.   The I-821D elicits all the necessary information needed for prosecution. An unwary applicant may in reality by filing an ill-advised DACA application, be handing his head on a platter to the government for prosecution and/or deportation.

The DHS has advised the public that there will be no appeal from a denial of a DACA application. The DHS “one strike and you’re out” policy may seem at odds with the humanitarian goals of the program.  Call the law offices of Mitchell J. Cohen, P.A. to schedule a consultation to determine your eligibility for DACA based on your individual circumstances and history. Attorney Cohen’s law firm is focused on immigration and nationality law.

Information contained in this website is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice to any person reviewing such information. No electronic communication with Attorney Cohen on its own will generate an attorney-client relationship. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. If you have a question, please call Attorney Mitchell J. Cohen for a consultation: Hallandale Beach Immigration Law Office (954) 457-1941 or Fort Myers Immigration Law Office (239) 931-6558.  www.GreenCardCohen.com.

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