DAPA Lawyers in New Jersey
DAPA, or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, was a program that would allow parents of lawful permanent residents or citizens the right to remain in the country without fear of deportation and would consider them for work authorization. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, individuals would have qualified for DAPA had they:
- Lived continuously in the U.S. since January 1, 2010 up to the present.
- Were physically present in the U.S. on November 14, 2014 and when the parent made the request for DAPA.
- Had no legal status on November 14, 2014.
- On November 14, 2014, the individual had a son or daughter of any age who was a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen.
- The individual’s record is clear of any felonies, significant misdemeanors, or three minor misdemeanors.
The program was designed to offer a pathway to citizenship to parents of legal U.S. citizens and residents who may have initially entered the country illegally. While parents of U.S. citizens can often get a green card when their U.S. citizen children turn 21 through the family-based green card program, parents who may have entered the country illegally may not qualify for a green card under this program. DAPA was designed to bridge this gap.
DAPA was intended to give these parents a path to citizenship so that families of U.S. citizens could stay together, where they belong. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration recently revoked the program. DAPA was never formally implemented, so there are no parents of U.S. citizens currently protected under the program. According to the Atlantic, had the program been permitted to move forward, it would have protected an estimated 3.7 million people.
If you are a parent of a U.S. citizen and don’t have a green card or legal status, you may want to contact the Law Offices of Eric M. Mark in New Jersey. Our firm can review your case, your circumstances, and help you understand what, if any paths forward are available to you. Contact us today to learn more.
What is the Difference Between DACA and DAPA
Because the names are so similar, DACA and DAPA are often confused. DAPA is a program designed to offer parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents a path to citizenship and legal status where formerly one did not exist. DACA is a program designed to protect children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents. Unlike DAPA, which never went into effect because it was blocked by the courts, DACA did go into effect, granting approximately 700,000 children who previously did not have protections or work authorization, the ability to come out of the shadows. DACA is in active litigation. The Trump Administration has attempted to phase out the program, but several judges have reinstated the program, declaring the rollback illegal. As it stands, individuals who wish to apply to DACA for the first time cannot do so, but individuals who wish to renew their status remain able to do so, and, unless their circumstances have changed since they first applied, they have been strongly encouraged to do so by several immigrant protection and rights groups.
The process of renewing DACA, or applying for protections can be confusing. If you are confused about which program you may qualify for, consider reaching out to the Law Office of Eric M. Mark in New Jersey. Our firm can help you understand your rights and navigate this process.
Can You Become a Permanent Resident Through Your U.S. Citizen Child?
If you are a parent of a U.S. citizen, and have been living in the U.S. legally, you may be entitled to receive a green card through the family-based green card program. Unfortunately, many parents of U.S. citizens have not been living in the U.S. legally. If a parent of a U.S. citizen overstays his or her visitor visa or other visa type, he or she may be deemed inadmissible to the U.S. In this case, applying for a green card for a parent in these circumstances could actually lead to the triggering of deportation proceedings. Anyone who overstays a lawful stay by 180 days or more, faces a 3-year bar, and anyone who overstays a lawful stay by one year or more, could become inadmissible for 10 years. These kinds of bars can divide families and be completely devastating.
Even if a parent qualifies for a family-based green card, there remain other challenges. U.S. citizen children must also be able to show that they can financially support their parents. They must earn 125% of more of the U.S. poverty line. If a parent has lived outside the U.S. legally, the child should have no difficulty applying for a family-based green card, provided that the child can show that he or she can provide financially for the parent or parents.
There are many circumstances that can lead to undocumented parents having U.S. citizen children. Parents may have entered the U.S. illegally or overstayed a visa or visitor’s visa and then had their children in the U.S. In this case, the children are U.S. citizens, but the parents are not documented. In some cases, children may qualify for a green card while a parent may not qualify.
If you are a parent of a U.S. citizen, before your child applies for a green card on your behalf, it is essential that you know whether or not you qualify. Failure to understand the qualification requirements can lead to serious consequences, up to deportation. If you have questions, the Law Office of Eric M. Mark in New Jersey has answers.
If you are a parent and don’t have legal status, there may be yet other paths available to you. If you fear persecution or death upon returning to your country, you could apply for asylum. If you have remarried or married a U.S. citizen, you may be able to apply for a waiver to remove the 3 and 10 year bars against you. However, you must show that being barred from the U.S. could create an undue hardship and you must show that the marriage is bona fide and was not entered into solely to acquire a marriage-based green card. If you have been a victim of certain crimes and help law enforcement in finding criminals, you may also be eligible for certain visas. If you have questions about the paths available to you, consider reaching out to the New Jersey immigration lawyers at the Law Office of Eric M. Mark.