We have received many inquiries regarding Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, commonly known as DAPA. This program was announced by President Obama on November 20, 2014. As you have likely heard, there have been recent developments affecting DAPA. Texas and 26 other states have brought a lawsuit to block this program and the extension of the DACA program based on hardship and expenses that will be incurred by the states. The suit was heard by Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas, who made a ruling in February to stop the implementation of DAPA. That case was appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, LA. The Obama administration asked that DAPA be allowed to proceed while the appeal was heard, but the court ruled on May 26, 2015 that it shall remain on hold until they have a final decision, with a hearing on the appeal currently set for July 2015.
What does this mean for me?
This is NOT the end of DAPA. We believe that ultimately DAPA will be allowed to proceed, but we do not know when.
To qualify for the program as announced, you must:
- Be the parent of a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
- Your child must have been born before November 20, 2014
- Step-parents presumably will qualify so long as the marriage to the biological parent took place prior to the child’s 18th birthday
- Have been continuously present in the United States starting prior to January 1, 2010
- Have had no lawful status on November 20, 2014
- Not have a significant criminal record
While we wait for a final decision, you can prepare by getting your paperwork in order. It is likely that you will need:
- Passports/Birth/marriage/divorce certificates
- Documentation of citizenship/permanent residency of the child
- Proof of residency in the US (you’ll want at least 2-3 things for each year you’ve been here)
- Anything with your name, a date, and an address in the United States, including bills, rental contracts, medical records, receipts
- If you have committed a crime, you will need police and court records showing the charges and conviction information as well as documentation of probation or classes you completed.
It is important to note that the original Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for those who arrived in the US as children prior to 2007 is not affected.
We will update our blog as this continues to unfold. In the meanwhile, if you have any specific questions about DAPA or any other immigration question, contact us.