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Dreamers (DACA)

What Is DACA?

If you came to the United States unlawfully before you turned 16, you might be eligible for deferred action through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Act, provided that the July 16, 2021 ruling by a federal court that suspends the program will be struck down by a higher court. Before July 16, this law deferred removal (deportation) actions for a specific period. Deferred action, however, does not qualify you for a green card. But it does give you the right to stay, work, and study legally in the U.S. Don’t give up hope, though. There might be alternatives to DACA. Almost a third of DACA applicants qualify for statuses that give them more permanent benefits. But to learn what you might be eligible for, you need to seek out the advice of one of our experienced attorneys. Only a licensed attorney can look at your situation and find a way forward in the complex U.S. immigration system.

If the July 16 Ruling Is Struck Down, Do I Qualify for DACA Benefits?

Besides coming to the U.S. before you were 16 years old, there are other criteria that DACA recipients must meet. You must have arrived in the US on or before June 15, 2007, resided in the U.S. continuously since then, and were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, with no lawful status at that time. You must be either in school, have obtained a GED, graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from a high school, or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard. Most importantly, you must not have been convicted of a felony, serious misdemeanors, or three or more less serious misdemeanors and are not a threat to the public’s safety or national security. But whether or not the July 16, 2021 ruling stands or not, there might be other legal options with better outcomes. Book an appointment to sit down with one of our compassionate attorneys and see what options you might have.
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What Are the Alternatives?

Don’t despair because of legal setbacks. Come see one of our experienced immigration attorneys to see what benefits you might qualify for. Here are some of the situations that qualify. Dreamers for more permanent benefits. If you hold a current DACA status and obtain advance parole, you can travel and then be admitted to the U.S. lawfully. Then, if you married a United States citizen or have a child over 21, you can apply for lawful permanent status – a green card while you’re in the U.S. If you are a DACA holder and you entered the U.S. legally and then married a United States citizen, you can apply for a green card as well. If you entered illegally, there’s still hope. If you married a U.S. citizen, you can apply for a provisional waiver. If the USCIS approves your application, you can travel and apply for (and receive) a green card from a U.S. consulate abroad, provided you qualify. With immigration laws in constant flux, you need to see one of our attorneys to take advantage of any options you might qualify for.