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 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 →
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 →
Many applicants who were granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are now in the process of renewing. And many are finding it possible to renewal on their own.
Deferred action renewal is proving to be significantly easier for these individuals to navigate on their own. Many have chosen to do without a lawyer this time around. There are significantly fewer documents that need to be submitted with the application. And provided that you’ve stayed on course, your initial grant is a good foundation for a deferred action renewal. DACA has been a success – as a group, deferred action grantees are significantly better off than two years ago. Continue reading →
One of the major barriers to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has simply been cost. For an initial applicant, the $465 cost can be overwhelming. After all, an initial applicant doesn’t have a work permit yet to earn the money. It may also be necessary to get professional help preparing the application. Even for DACA renewals, applicants may continue to struggle to obtain the necessary $465 USCIS fees. There are options for how to pay for DACA. Continue reading →
DACA is administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and requires applicants to file three separate forms for consideration (Forms I-821D, I-765 and I-765WS). In addition to the $465 USCIS filing fees, immigration attorneys will generally charge several hundred dollars for preparation of the three forms. This has made the program difficult to afford for candidates who are typically students, recently employed or unemployed.
CitizenPath, which was founded by immigration attorneys and internet experts, uses the web to simplify Continue reading →
FULLERTON, Calif. (June 9, 2014) – CitizenPath, an Orange County, California-based technology start up, is giving undocumented students protected by President Obama’s deferred action policy an easy and inexpensive way to prepare immigration forms. Continue reading →
Despite politicians’ failure to pass the DREAM Act at the federal level, the movement continues to gather momentum at the state level. With the recent passage of laws in Virginia and Florida, 20 states now offer in-state tuition to undocumented immigrant college students, also known as DREAMers. These policies are promising to improve the lives of undocumented students, and studies back it up.
Improving Education Before College
In addition to improving access to college, studies are showing that in-state tuition policies have other benefits. Research has indicated that Continue reading →
Although it wasn’t the path to citizenship that DREAMers yearned for, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was a major step forward, giving undocumented immigrant youth opportunities to work and study.
A major drawback for many youth already in tough economic situations is the cost – $465 for the initial application and each two-year renewal. In some cases applicants require the assistance of an attorney that will double or triple the cost.
Data shows that a surprisingly low one-third of eligible immigrant youth have applied for DACA. Through December 2013, USCIS reporting shows that the agency accepted 610,694 applications and had approved 512,815 of them. Only 15,968 had been denied. (The remainder is under review.) There are approximately 1.8 million immigrants currently in the United States who might meet the requirements of the deferred action initiative, either now or when they are older. Why haven’t more eligible immigrants applied? Experts suggest a variety of reasons could be to blame, but DACA affordability Continue reading →