U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent death and how a new Justice will be selected has injected new fuel into the Democratic and Republican debates. But it’s highly unlikely that a new Justice will be selected before this spring when the Supreme Court takes on expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Permanent Residents (DAPA). Both the DAPA and expanded DACA programs have been blocked by lower courts. In the case known as United States v. Texas, the Supreme Court is expected to make a final decision. Continue reading
After obtaining Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), recipients will generally have to file taxes with DACA. Like everyone else, your income tax return is generally due April 15th.
If future laws provide a path to citizenship for deferred action recipients, you can bet that your responsibility as a tax paying member of society will be scrutinized. Filing taxes after DACA is a great way to build a solid track record too. Down the road, there’s a good chance you’ll need to show compliance with tax requirements, proof of your income, or prove your physical presence in the United States. Continue reading
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients generally do not have a path to permanent resident status (green card). However, some DACA recipients can obtain a green card if they meet specific criteria. The Immigrant Legal Resource Center recently released an advisory that explains the technical requirements necessary to navigate this path to a DACA green card.
DACA is not a legal immigration status. It’s an exercise of discretion by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that grants temporary legal presence and employment authorization in the United States. Because many DACA recipients entered the country unlawfully, it can be very difficult to obtain legal status. The unlawful entry makes them ineligible for a DACA green card. Continue reading
People that have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), may also have the opportunity to travel abroad. The travel purposes are limited in scope, and travel must be authorized before departure through what is known as Advance Parole for DACA.
Advance Parole makes it possible to travel outside the United States and return without losing DACA status. It’s not available to everyone and for all travel reasons. Therefore, it’s important to understand the eligibility criteria and how to prepare the application for Advance Parole correctly. Continue reading
Although President Obama’s executive actions that created DAPA and expanded DACA remain stalled, his updated enforcement policy means that up to 87 percent of undocumented immigrants in the United States likely will not be the target of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) according to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI).
The centerpiece of Obama’s November 24, 2014, executive actions on immigration was the announcement of the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). When combined, these two programs were expected to positively affect up to 5 million people with protection from deportation and employment authorization for a renewable 3-year period. But both of these programs are blocked by court orders. Continue reading
The court injunction that has halted the implementation of Obama’s executive action on immigration may also be freezing economic growth for the United States. Research from the Center for American Progress (CAP) suggests there are economic gains of granting deferred action to undocumented immigrants through programs like DACA and DAPA. Deferred action raises wages and generates increased tax revenues.
While 26 states battle it out with the Obama administration, another story is unfolding. The United States has already benefited from programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Continue reading
There are misconceptions that many deferred action recipients and undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes and/or aren’t obligated to pay taxes. Both are false. And filing taxes after deferred action, doesn’t have to be hard.
Immigrants must pay taxes in the United States, and most of them do. Even undocumented immigrants have a responsibility by law to pay taxes. Beyond the legal obligation to pay taxes, many immigrants want to contribute to the United States and document their residence in this country.
Immigrants with deferred action status from programs, such as DACA and DAPA, are required to pay taxes going forward. Payment of back taxes is not required. Paying taxes may also help future immigration cases if the applicant ever needs to demonstrate compliance with tax requirements, proof of income, or proof of continuous residence in the United States. Continue reading
An estimated 65,000 – 80,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools each year. However, only 5-10% of these graduates go on college. Many California universities are making it a little easier.
Undocumented youth, known collectively as “DREAMers,” are perhaps the most resilient and self-sufficient students arriving to college campuses today. Typically raised in households with few resources and opportunities afforded the typical native-born U.S. citizen, DREAMers have persevered to find a path to higher education. Continue reading
The Safe and Responsible Driver Act, better known as Assembly Bill 60 (California AB 60), was signed into law in 2013. Beginning January 1, 2015, immigrants without legal immigration status will be able to apply for a California driver license under AB 60.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) estimates that roughly 1.4 million undocumented immigrants will eventually apply for the privilege of driving. The DMV has been hiring new employees and opening up temporary facilities to process the wave of applications. Continue reading
Upcoming executive action by the President has many anticipating that DACA will be expanded to cover all
Convinced that no congressional progress would be made in the near term, President Obama announced on June 30, 2014, that he would take executive action to change immigration policy. Although he promised changed by the end of summer, those plans have been delayed until after the November elections.
There has been much speculation that these changes will provide expanded relief from deportation and employment authorization to approximately 5 million people.
Although the President doesn’t have the authority to give immigrants legal status in the U.S., he can use existing law – such as deferred action — to affect change. Experts overwhelming agree that expanding deferred action protection to millions of currently undocumented immigrants would be legal.
No one knows exactly who will be covered by executive action and the scope of the policy. Here are some possibilities: Continue reading