Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Many young people face limited options because of their immigration status, but recent changes in U.S. laws seek to give them more opportunities. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a memo calling for deferred action for undocumented young people who meet certain criteria.
The program that was created — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or “DACA” — offers a two-year reprieve from deportation and can be helpful to many people facing immigration problems. DACA provides an opportunity for undocumented immigrants to remain in the country without fear of deportation, allows them to apply for work permits, and increases economic and social opportunities.
At Cascadia Cross Border Law Group LLC in Anchorage, Alaska, we represent people who are eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. In matters related to DACA, our clients include people who came to the U.S. as children and have been educated here, but do not have legal status.
DACA Relief Eligibility
You may be eligible for DACA relief if you are under age 31 and you came to the U.S. while under the age of 16. You must either be in school or have graduated from high school, obtained your GED or been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or other U.S. armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Reserve or National Guard).
You must meet certain other criteria as well, including having continuously lived in the U.S. since 2007 and never having been convicted of certain serious crimes.
DACA’s eligibility process is rigorous. Those who are chosen are selected on a case-by-case basis. While you do not need a lawyer to apply, seeking legal counsel from an experienced attorney is the best way to protect your interests during a critical time. At our Alaska law firm, our attorneys have extensive experience regarding DACA, military immigration matters, and matters of child immigration.
You May Have Other Options
DACA is not the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act), and it does not grant a path to legalization and citizenship. You may qualify for relief under DACA, but that still will not get you a green card. This is disappointing for many people who have grown up in the U.S., but whose lives are seriously limited by their immigration status.
At Cascadia Cross Border Law Group LLC, we take a broad perspective when it comes to immigration matters. We often consider solutions for our clients that other attorneys may not. Using extensive, in-depth knowledge of the complexities of immigration law, we can explore alternatives to DACA that may be available to you such as Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status, which allows children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected to get their green cards through the SIJ program.