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On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions aimed at securing the southern border of the United States. The executive actions will focus on removing felons in the United States illegally, while allowing certain undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States temporarily. Specifically, the President will expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). Further, the President announced a new program Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA).

DAPA will allow certain individuals to remain in the United States temporarily and receive work authorization. It is important to recognize that, although DAPA allows certain individuals to remain in the United States, it does not grant any status to them, nor does it include a path to Citizenship.

In order to qualify for DAPA an undocumented individual, living in the United States, must meet three (3) criteria. The undocumented person must: 1) have continuously resided in the United States since January 1, 2010; 2) be the parent of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident born on or before November 20, 2014; and 3) not be an enforcement priority for removal from the United States, pursuant to the November 20, 2014, Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants Memorandum.

The November 20, 2014, Policy Memorandum lists three priorities for apprehension, detention and removal. The first priority is those individuals who present a national security threat, border security and public safety. These include individuals who are active in criminal organizations, convicted of a felony, apprehended at the border or are engaged in or suspected to be engaged in terrorism. These are the top priority for removal under the above mentioned memorandum.

The second priority for removal is those who have committed misdemeanors and new immigration violators. These are individuals convicted of three or more misdemeanors, those convicted of “significant misdemeanors” and aliens who have abused the visa or visa waiver program. Additionally, the second priority for removal is those individuals apprehended in the United States who cannot establish that they have been present in the United States since January 1, 2014.

The final priority for removal is those individuals who were issued a final order of removal on or after January 1, 2014. Keep in mind that this priority does not include those listed under the above two priorities.

This new program will allow many people to remain in the United States and receive work authorization. It is important to remember that providing the proper documentation and proof is vital to the success of any immigration matter. Therefore it is important that you seek the advice of a qualified attorney with experience in immigration matters before submitting anything to immigration authorities.

This article is intended to provide general information and not legal advice. If you think that you or someone you know could benefit from DAPA then you may want to contact an attorney for further information. Our office, located at 2 Wall Street in New York, New York has many qualified attorneys eager to assist in every type of immigration matter.

Please feel free to contact our office in New York, NY at (212) 344-3800 if you are interested in scheduling a consultation. We are here to help.

Daniel Shakespeare, Esq.
Associate Attorney
Christophe Law Group, P.C.
2 Wall Street, Ste 303
New York, NY 10005

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