The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program started in 2012. This law offers undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children an opportunity to remain in the country. DACA offers qualifying individuals many additional benefits as well.
While this program can be beneficial to many individuals, navigating the immigration system can be a challenge without a skilled attorney. If you believe that you qualify under this program and have questions about applying, you should consult with a San Diego DACA lawyer.
Immigrants Who Qualify for DACA
The goal of DACA is to offer individuals who arrived in the country before turning 16 years old a chance to stay in the United States. These immigrants fall into this category partly because they did not choose to immigrate, and America might be the only home they have ever known. To receive the protections from DACA, an individual must:
- Have lived in the United States since January 1st, 2010
- Have been under 31 years old on June 15th, 2012
- Remained physically in the United States from June 15th, 2012, until the point in time when they submit their application
- Had no legal status on the date the law went into effect or at the point when they applied
- Have a GED, high school diploma, honorable discharge from the military, or currently enrolled in school
- Have no previous felony convictions or significant misdemeanors are their records
- Not have three or more lesser misdemeanors on the record
- Not pose threats to national security or public safety
There are currently hundreds of thousands of individuals residing in the United States benefiting from DACA protections. Any individuals who believe they qualify for the DACA program should speak to a lawyer in San Diego.
What Protections DACA Offers
While DACA is not a pathway to legal citizenship in the United States, individuals who qualify for this program can become legal residents. The program, therefore, offers individuals many benefits that can allow them to level normal life in this country.
DACA status means a person can work, receive employment benefits, pursue higher education, apply for credit cards and open bank accounts, receive health insurance benefits, obtain a driver’s license, and otherwise participate in their community. For many young immigrants, this law also presents the ability to feel secure in the United States.
Because of the requirements of the program, it can be challenging to complete a successful application and understand all of the obligations related to DACA status. Speaking to a San Diego attorney may offer eligible immigrants valuable information about completing the DACA application process.
Losing DACA Status
Individuals in the United States benefiting from DACA must continue to apply for this program every two years. Individuals who qualify for these protections can lose DACA status and become deportable if they engage in illegal activities.
If a DACA recipient commits a felony, including any criminal events that lead to a punishment of imprisonment for greater than one year, they lose their ability to benefit from the program. Significant misdemeanors can also prevent a person from enjoying DACA protections. These offenses include sexual abuse, domestic violence, unlawful possession of or use of a firearm, burglary, drug sales, driving under the influence, and other misdemeanors that result in a jail term greater than 90 days.
If an individual commits three or more non-significant misdemeanors, this may risk losing DACA status. Anyone concerned about losing their DACA status should speak to an attorney in San Diego.
Contact a San Diego DACA Attorney
The DACA program can provide significant benefits to qualifying individuals. For many immigrants, this program is vital to their ability to obtain higher education or gainful employment. With so much at stake, it is important that you understand your obligations, rights, and eligibility for this program. If you are applying for this program and are concerned about the application process or any challenges you may face, you should consult with a San Diego DACA lawyer at Hacking Law Practice, LLC.