DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA)
BATON ROUGE IMMIGRATION LAWYERS
DACA Immigration Lawyers in Baton Rouge
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program is a federal program that helps thousands of young people from across the country who came to the United States as children. The program grants people authorization to work and protects them from removal proceedings on a temporary basis. Even if you have never applied before, you may be eligible for protection under DACA.
DACA Immigration: The Basics
DACA is currently available to new applicants after a brief hiatus and several court cases that threatened the program. Not everyone is eligible, you may be if:
- You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
- You are currently over the age of 15 (except in removal proceedings)
- Came to the United States before your 16th birthday
- You have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, and to the present date
- You were physically present in the US on June 15, 2012, as well as at the time you applied for deferred action from US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- Did not have legal status in the US on June 15, 2012
- Are currently in school or have graduated (or obtained a certificate of completion from high school), or have obtained a high school equivalency certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, US Air Force or Coast Guard
- Have never been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors
- Do not pose a threat to national security or public safety
It is important to note that eligibility criteria can change, and that the DACA program has been through several court cases (including one before the US Supreme Court – the highest judicial authority in the country).
What Are Significant Misdemeanors For DACA Immigration Purposes?
A “significant misdemeanor” is one that involves:
- domestic violence
- sexual abuse
- sexual exploitation
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Illegal possession of firearm
- Illegal use of a firearm
- Drug distribution or trafficking.
- Other misdemeanors for which you are sentenced to more than 90 days behind bars
How To Apply For DACA If You Are In The US Illegally?
You can apply for DACA protection if you are currently in the US without legal status. You can even apply for DACA protection if you are already involved in removal proceedings. For many people, the best course of action is to work with a Baton Rouge immigration lawyer who understands – and keeps track of – the most current developments in US immigration law.
Can You Renew Your DACA Status?
If you have been previously approved for the DACA program, you can apply to renew your status. USCIS recommends that you do this 150-120 days before your current status expires, although you can apply closer to your status expiration date if necessary. However, if you apply and are not approved before your current DACA status expires, you could be unlawfully present in the United States.
Does USCIS Have to Approve Your DACA Immigration Request?
There are several reasons why USCIS may deny your DACA request – including conviction of crimes or a belief that you pose a threat to national security. USCIS may also deny your petition for discretionary reasons. The agency is not required to approve your request. However, if your petition is denied, your Baton Rouge immigration attorney can help you work toward a more favorable outcome.
Do You Need To Speak With A DACA Immigration Lawyer?
If you are a DREAMER who needs to speak with a DACA immigration attorney in Baton Rouge or surrounding communities, we may be able to help. Call our office at (225) 407-4428 to schedule an immigration consultation today.