DACA Lawyers in New Jersey
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, certain individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children who also meet other requirements and guidelines may qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Individuals who qualify for the program can receive deferred action for removal for two years and also can receive work authorization. While DACA is no replacement for lawful status, it can offer individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children the right to work and the peace of mind that they will not be removed from the country as long as their DACA status is active.
In September 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the DACA program would be phased out. Under the new law, individuals are no longer able to apply for DACA for the first time. However, if you already have been granted DACA, you may be entitled to seek a renewal of your status. Many people are understandably confused about their rights, especially as cases supporting DACA move through the courts. As it currently stands, if your DACA is up for renewal, you may want to apply for a renewal.
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, federal courts have ordered that USCIS begin accepting DACA renewals again. However, this order could potentially be overturned in the coming days and weeks, so it is important that individuals who need their DACA status renewed take action to renew their status as soon as possible. The sooner you get your application in the better.
The most recent information on DACA renewals can be found here. The website lists the different forms available to those who wish to renew their status. Individuals whose DACA status expired on September 5, 2016 or after this date can file for DACA as a renewal request. However, individuals whose DACA status expired before this date may still be able to apply for new DACA status, but may need to explain the situation in more detail.
Who qualifies for a DACA renewal? According to USCIS, individuals must not have departed the U.S. after August 15, 2012, must have continuously lived in the U.S. since submitting their last DACA approval, and must have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors. These individuals must show that they do not pose a threat to public safety. If you meet these qualifications, you may qualify for a DACA renewal. If you are unsure about whether you meet any of these qualifications, you may want to speak to a qualified DACA lawyer like the Law Office of Eric M. Mark.
Given the fact that the Trump Administration has made attempts to phase out the DACA program, individuals who wish to file for renewals and those who hold DACA status are understandably concerned and anxious. As the courts determine the legality of the phase-out, DACA holders should continue to follow USCIS recommendations, but may also want to speak to a DACA lawyer in New Jersey, like the Law Office of Eric M. Mark who can help them understand their rights and options. Failure to renew your status could put you at risk of deportation or the loss of your work status. With so much on the line, it is important to get answers to your crucial questions and to renew if you qualify.
Who Qualifies for DACA?
While USCIS is not processing new DACA applications, individuals must still meet all DACA requirements in order to receive a renewal. In order to receive DACA status, individuals must meet certain qualifications. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a person qualifies for DACA if the following are true:
- The person was under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012.
- The person was brought to the U.S. before their 16th
- The person continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 up to the present.
- The person was physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2007 and on the date they applied for DACA.
- As of June 15, 2007, the person must not have any lawful status.
- Individuals must have a high school diploma, GED, must be in school, or must be honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces.
- Must not have a conviction for a felony, misdemeanor, or three other misdemeanors.
The biggest thing that can change between renewals is a person’s criminal history. Before applying for a renewal, if your criminal history has changed, you may want to speak to a qualified DACA lawyer in New Jersey, like the Law Office of Eric M. Mark who can review your background to determine whether you continue to qualify for DACA. Applying for renewal when you no longer qualify can have very serious consequences. For example, if USCIS finds that you are subject for removal, deportation proceedings can begin. Protect your rights. Speak to the Law Office of Eric M. Mark today.
Renew Your DACA Status Today
There has been a great deal of confusion regarding DACA in the past several months. According to the Atlantic, the renewal rate for DACA applications is only 38%. As many as 400,000 DACA holders stand to lose their status. Unless there has been a big change to your criminal record or status, it may be in your best interests to renew your DACA protections. Immigrant advocacy groups encourage DACA holders whose status may expire in the coming months to apply for renewal.
Of course, if you are concerned, consider reaching out to a qualified DACA lawyer in New Jersey at the Law Office of Eric M. Mark. Our firm can review your situation and help you understand what might be the best course forward. In some cases, individuals may even qualify for family immigration green cards and may not be aware that they qualify. Our firm will take the time to review your background, your situation, your rights, and options, and help you seek the best course forward to protect your status, your future, and stability.