Several million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. received a stunning blow last week when the Supreme Court’s deadlocked decision effectively killed President Obama’s new deferred action plans. The immigration actions known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Permanent Residents (DAPA) and an expanded version of the already successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) appear to be hopelessly frozen.
For undocumented immigrants, the clear goal is a path to a long-term legal status. These paths to legal status lead to permanent resident status (green card) and U.S. citizenship. Certain immigrants with no legal status may have some paths available. This article covers those options and who could qualify for them. Continue reading
The battle to unfreeze President Obama’s DAPA and expanded DACA executive actions is now in the U.S. Supreme Court
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments over the lawsuit that froze the implementation of an expansion to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the creation of the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program. For immigration advocates, this is a major decision in the fight for families.
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
As the fight for DAPA and expanded DACA moves to the Supreme Court, learn how to prepare for the deferred action application.
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up the case of United States v. Texas. The case will determine the constitutionality of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration that expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and created Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).
President Obama announced the expanded DACA and DAPA programs in November 2014. But the programs have stalled due to court challenges. The Supreme Court’s decision will be final.
The Supreme Court’s decision to take up the case is great news for proponents of Obama’s immigration actions. A ruling in the case will likely impact as many as 5 million undocumented people. The existing DACA addresses people who entered the U.S. as children and have no current legal status. (Note: The existing DACA program is unaffected by the court ruling.) The expanded DACA program, which is being challenged in court, makes the program available to a greater number of eligible applicants. DAPA addresses more than 4 million undocumented immigrants who have children who are American citizens or lawful permanent residents. 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
We previously published a basic guide on Preparing for DAPA and developed a DAPA Eligibility Quiz that helps potential applicants determine their eligibility. But gathering the documents necessary to apply for DAPA takes real work. It is tedious and detail oriented.
Just ask DACA applicants who applied within the last couple of years. It has been worth the effort. Eduardo Ramirez-Farias, who recently renewed his DACA status, says “My experience with DACA is a positive one. It changed my life in many ways, such as financially and educationally. Most importantly, I am able to live my life without fear and enjoy the great things in life. This program gave me, as well as others, the opportunity to achieve and succeed the American Dream.” Continue reading
Changes in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program affect both current DACA recipients and open up eligibility for more people
Jaime Escobar couldn’t apply for President Obama’s DACA program when it was first announced. He arrived in the United States as a child. Today he is 40 years old, making him too old for the DACA criteria as originally outlined. From Jaime’s perspective, he is every bit a DREAMer as the younger applicants who qualify.
Changes in the DACA policy announced as part of President Obama’s immigration action mean that Jaime will soon be able to apply for expanded DACA. In fact Jaime and an additional 300,000 people could qualify for expanded DACA with these eligibility changes. Continue reading
Download a free guide for undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents
President Obama’s announcement on November 20, 2014, brought great news for many undocumented immigrants but also many new questions about deferred action and eligibility. Although you can’t apply as of today, there are many things you can do to get ready for DAPA.
CitizenPath has created a complete guide — Preparing for DAPA — that is available for free download. The guide explains the new program now known as Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). Here’s a summary of what the guide covers: Continue reading