Greer DACA Attorneys
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
The Obama administration introduced the landmark Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012. Its noble goal was to help undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as a child continue to live and work in the country despite their status. To date, nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants have found deportation relief in the program.
However, DACA has come under fire by the Trump administration, who attempted to end the program outright in 2017. The Supreme Court ultimately shot down this effort but left openings for further shutdown efforts. As of July 2020, President Trump has declared his intention to conduct a “comprehensive legal review,” leaving the future of the program – at least for the immediate future – in jeopardy.
For now, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is accepting renewal applications for existing DACA beneficiaries, albeit for only 1-year terms versus the previous 2-year periods. USCIS is not accepting applications for new DACA status, even if the individual qualifies under the program’s old rules. Finally, USCIS has signaled it will not accept requests for advanced parole beyond “extraordinary circumstances.”
If you are currently relying on DACA to shield yourself from removal proceedings, including deportation, you are probably justifiably concerned by these new developments. Fortunately, our team at Colón Law Firm can help. Our practice is exclusively dedicated to immigration law, and our Greer DACA lawyers have a deep understanding of DACA systems. We pay close attention to new developments impacting the program and are responsive in adjusting our strategies for helping you accordingly. If you currently hold status and are struggling to renew, you can rely on our team to advocate for you.
How DACA Renewals Work
Undocumented immigrants who qualified under the original program rules and successfully maintain their DACA status receive several critical benefits. Chief among them is protection from removal proceedings, or deportation. It also permits you to gain a Social Security Number and apply for employment authorization permits.
In other words, being a DACA beneficiary means you are able to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation, so long as you abide by certain other rules, like not being convicted of certain crimes. However, you are only protected for the length of your DACA status term. Previously, DACA status was active for 2-year increments, but recent Trump administration changes have adjusted the term duration to 1 year.
In order to qualify for DACA renewal, you must meet the following requirements:
- Lived in the United States continuously since your last renewal
- Not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or 3 or more misdemeanors
- Not represent a national security threat
To keep your status active and protect your DACA protections, beneficiaries should submit their renewal applications between 120 and 150 days before their current term’s expiration date, per USCIS recommendations. Generally, earlier is better, as USCIS has faced a backlog in application processing in recent years. These delays can lead to an uncomfortable scenario where your DACA status has expired but renewal application remains pending. Our immigration attorneys can help advise you on when to submit to minimize any risk.
Let Colón Law Firm Help Protect Your DACA Status
Now more than ever you deserve a strong legal advocate to fight for your DACA status. With so much doubt hanging over the future of the program, it is easy to become discouraged. As court battles and litigation continue, it is important to remember that you deserve to be here, and our team at Colón Law Firm will do everything possible to ensure your continued ability to live and work in the United States. Our immigration attorneys strive to provide our South Carolina clients the compassionate and individualized legal services they deserve, and we will be there to support you every step of the way.