Many Filipino families are excited about President Obama’s announcement on November 20, 2014 concerning Executive Action (EA) which has, among other things, expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and now includes so many more young people.
I know that when DACA first came out, many Filipinos were reluctant to come forward and apply. While more than 600,000 young Latinos applied, less than 4,000 Filipinos came forward, despite the US government offering a marvelous opportunity to obtain work authorization, SS number, driver’s license, relief from deportation, possibility for entering college and scholarships, permission to travel to the Philippines, and more.
Those Filipinos, who did come forward, were left untouched by ICE (meaning the government did not come after them or their families). President Obama further promised that anyone who applies will not be turned over for deportation, nor will their family members be deported (unless of course they are terrorists or felons).
Below is a chart, comparing the new and the old DACA.
As you can see, both versions of DACA require the person to have entered the US before their 16th birthday. However, now the person could have entered before January 1, 2010, instead of June 15, 2007. I remember one early DACA consultation, when it was first announced, where a 15-year-old child had entered the US on June 21, 2007. Under the old version of DACA, she was not eligible. Now she would be.
Another change is the date on which the young person had to be “out of status”. Under the old version of DACA, the child had to have been out of status as of June 15, 2012. Under the new version, the young person could be out of status as of the date of President Obama’s announcement, on November 20, 2014. I also recall some consultations where a child may have been on an H – 4 or student visa as of June 15, 2012. Because they were “in status” on June 15, 2012, they were not eligible for DACA. However, if they went TNT before November 20, 2014, they could now be eligible.
Under the old version of DACA, there was an age limit for eligibility. The young person could not have been 31 years of age or older as of June 15, 2012. People such as José Antonio Vargas were thus ineligible, because they were over 31 years of age as of that date. The new version of DACA removes the age limit for eligibility, as long as the person entered the US before their 16th birthday and before January 1, 2010. Therefore, if a person entered the US in 1990 at age 15, and lived in the US continuously since then, they could be eligible for DACA, even though they are almost 40 years old!
If you were not eligible under the old DACA, maybe you are now eligible under the new version, and you should definitely see an attorney to evaluate your situation.
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Michael J. Gurfinkel is licensed, and an active member of the State Bar of California and New York. All immigration services are provided by, or under the supervision of, an active member of the State Bar of California. Each case is different. The information contained herein including testimonials, “Success Stories,” endorsements and re-enactments) is of a general nature, and is not intended to apply to any particular case, and does not constitute a prediction, warranty, guarantee or legal advice regarding the outcome of your legal matter. No attorney-client relationship is, or shall be, established with any reader.
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