DACA – Deferred Action EAD for Dreamers

1. Breaking News: DHS Announces Application Process for Deferred Action to “Dreamers” on August 3, 2012
The USCIS on August 3, 2012 released the details Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process, which will temporarily allow some eligible youth to go to school and work without fear of deportation. The DACA program is designed for young people who are under the age of 31; entered the United States before age 16; have resided in the country for at least five years as of June 15, 2012; have not been convicted of a felony, a “significant” misdemeanor, or three other misdemeanors; and are currently in school, graduated from high school, earned a GED, or served in the military.

According to the release, individuals may begin to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals on August 15, 2012. Any earlier filing will be rejected.

Among the key points shared by USCIS:

  1. A new form will be available on August 15. All DACA requests will require payment of the standard $85 biometric fee, but no additional fee will be charged. Persons who wish to receive work authorization must pay, with limited exemptions, the current employment authorization document fee of $365.
  2. Information provided on the form will be kept confidential, including information relating to applicants’ family members or legal guardians, meaning it will not be used for immigration enforcement proceedings, unless the applicant meets current USCIS criteria for referral to Immigration and Customs Enforcement or issuance of a Notice to Appear (NTA) in immigration court.
  3. DHS will deem “significant” any misdemeanor, regardless of the sentence imposed, involving burglary, domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, unlawful possession of firearms, driving under the influence, or drug distribution or trafficking. In addition, DHS will deem significant any other misdemeanor for which an applicant was sentenced to more than 90 days in jail, not including suspended sentences and time held pursuant to immigration detention. Minor traffic offenses and convictions for immigration-related offenses classified as felonies or misdemeanors by state laws (e.g. Arizona SB 1070) will not be considered.

Readers of our website or clients of Lin & Valdez qualified under DACA please contact us mmediately.

Back to Top 
2. Breaking News: AILA Releases the Top 8 Items from DHS Announcement on Deferred Action
Following the DHS’ announcement on August 3, 2012 of more details about the application guideline/method for deferred action under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) immediately released the “Top 8 Items from DHS Announcement on Deferred Action.” The top 8 items are:

  1. In a change from the prior announcement, people currently in removal proceedings will use the USCIS process when it is implemented on August 15, 2012, rather than go through ICE. Only individuals in detention will go through ICE to make a deferred action request.
  2. Information provided as part of the deferred action request process is protected from disclosure to ICE or CBP for purposes of removal proceedings unless the requestor meets the criteria of USCIS’ November 2011 NTA memo.
  3. If a departure from the U.S. was due to removal, voluntary departure, etc., the absence was not brief, casual and innocent and would interupt the continuous residence that is required since June 15, 2007. Short absences before August 15, 2012, reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose of the trip, would not be interuptive.
  4. Only people who are currently not in status and were not in any lawful status on June 15, 2012 are eligible.
  5. A “significant misdemeanor” is one for which the individual was sentenced to more than 90 days, or a conviction for domestic violence, sexual abuse, burglary, firearm violation, drug distribution or trafficking (but not possession), or DUI, regardless of the sentence.
  6. Minor traffic offenses, such as driving without a license, are not considered misdemeanors that count toward the “3 or more” standard.
  7. The Form I-765 will be required, along with another form that will be made available on August 14 or 15. Total fees, including biometics, will be $465. Fee waivers will not be available, but fee exemptions will be permitted in very limited circumstances, and must be requested and approved before submitting a deferred action application without a fee.
  8. Whether a person has reached age 15, and whether the requestor meets the education requirements, will be determined as of the date the request for deferred action is filed, NOT the June 15, 2012 date.
Back to Top 
3. Breaking News: USCIS Released Form for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Application
USCIS has just released on Aug. 14, 2012 the form required to request consideration for the Deferred Action program. If you have been keeping up with the news then you should be familiar with the general requirements and whether or not you qualify for this program. For a refresher, please see our previous Breaking News post on this website.

The instructions that have just been released set the total filing fees at $465.00, which will cover the deferred action request, employment authorization, and biometrics fees. The forms that will need to be sent in are the newly released Form I-821D, the work authorization form I-765, and the Form I-765 worksheet (Form I-765WS). Interestingly, Form I-821D may not be filed by itself but must be filed with Form I-765 and form I-765WS. This also means that there will be no waiver of any of the filing fees.

Prospective applicants will also need to submit a large amount of supporting documentation and evidence that they meet the guidelines for the program. These documents include:

  1. Personal documents- Passport, Driver’s License, Birth Certificate, School-issued photo ID, Expired Visas, EAD cards, and any other relevant documents.
  2. Arrival Documents (came here before you were 16)- Admission Stamps, I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, Travel Records, School Records, Hospital/Medical Records, Church Documents, and any other relevant documents.
  3. Documents Showing Your Current Presence- Rent Receipts, Utility Bills, Employment Records (pay stubs, W-2s, tax returns), Bank Statements, and any other relevant documents.
  4. Documents Showing Your Education- Transcripts, Report Cards, Diploma, GED Certificate, and any other relevant documents.
  5. Documents Showing Brief Departures- Plane Tickets, Itineraries, Passport Entries, Hotel Receipts, and any other evidence that supports a brief, casual, and innocent absence.

Again, the above-list is not an exhaustive list of all the documentation that my be required, as every applicants case will be different and may require different documentation. For this reason, it will be important for prospective applicants to make sure that they are well informed and know the process. The easiest way to achieve this, of course, is to have an experience immigration attorney help with the case. The attorneys here at Lin & Valdez will be happy to help you with your application and will answer any remaining questions you might have. Please call us to set up a consultation today.

Back to Top 
4. TX DPS MEMO – TX Accepts DACA Approval as Proof of Lawful Presence for TX Driver License Application Purpose
From: DPS Government Relations [mailto:Government.Relations@dps.texas.gov]
Sent: Friday, August 24, 2012 9:34 PM
To: DPS Government Relations
Subject: Federal deferred action status as it relates to Texas driver licenses

Dear members and staff,

The U. S. Department of Homeland Security recently announced it is granting deferred action status to certain individuals who came to the United States as children. DPS has reviewed this federal measure, state statute and our current policies to determine how it relates to obtaining a Texas driver license, and we have concluded the following:

The “deferred action” status alone will not entitle anyone to a Texas driver license.

All applicants must continue to meet the criteria that the State of Texas requires in order to be eligible to receive a driver license.

*All first time applicants for a Texas driver license must:
1. Apply in person at a Texas driver license office.
2. Present documents that verify your identity.
3. Present documents that verify you are a U.S. citizen or have lawful presence. All information on each document must match. Additional documentation may be required to verify conflicting information, incomplete names, and date of birth.
4. Present proof of Social Security Number. If you do not have a Social Security Number, you must complete a Social Security Affidavit form available at the driver license office.
5. Present proof of your Texas residency.
6. Present proof of Texas vehicle registration and liability insurance on all vehicles you own.
7. Complete the application for driver license or identification card (PDF). You may type your information on the form, print it, and bring it with you to the office. If you don’t have a printer, the form is also available at the office.
8. Consent to be photographed, fingerprinted, and provide your signature at the time of application.
9. Pass the written, driving, and vision examinations. (Read more about foreign language examinations.)
10. Pay the required fee with a credit card, cash, money order, or a non-temporary check.
11. Provide a vehicle for the driving exam and present current liability insurance, Texas vehicle registration, and inspection for the vehicle.

Federal immigration documentation indicating approved “deferred action” status meets only one of the Department’s current criteria (lawful presence policy) to receive a driver license. However, they would then have to meet the various other requirements (i.e. identity, residency, SSN, and other requirements*) in order to be issued a driver license.

The expiration date of that driver license will be based on the length of lawful presence indicated in the federal immigration documents, and each license issued will indicate that it is a “limited-term license.”

DPS is providing this information to the media and all others seeking information on this issue.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

DPS Government Relations Team
(512) 424-7272

Back to Top 
5. Sample Success Story: DACA Deferred Action Relief Granted to Our Client
On November 23, 2012, the USCIS granted the deferred action relief and working permit to a DACA application we filed for one of our “Dreamer” clients.

The Deferred Action relief and working permit was available for application starting from August of this year. Under the program, “Dreamers” – childhood arrivals- can apply for deferred action and working permit. Since the program started, we have helped many clients prepared and filed the application. This is the first case we filed on Sept. 20, 2012. Our client in this case has received the working permit and is extremely ecstatic. We are also very happy to be able to help the youngsters. We expect that all of our applied cases will be granted gradually.

Attorneys at Lin & Valdez have represented hundreds of aliens in all kinds of proceedings in asylum office and immigration court. We represent clients in all immigration courts of Texas and Louisiana. We have also represented clients in immigration courts in Michigan, California, etc. Our attorneys have also represented clients in various levels of appeal and obtained tremendous success in the appeals. Please contact us immediately if you need representation in immigration court and in BIA or other appealing proceeding. As we have always said, the help you need is just a click away!

Back to Top