DACA First-Time Requests Are Open Again

DACA, dreamers, immigration lawyerThe Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) is once again accepting new applications as of Dec. 7, based on a U.S. District Court order.

The order authorizes first-time requests for consideration under the terms in effect as of September 5, 2017, when President Donald J. Trump moved to rescind DACA.

DACA, which was created by President Barack Obama through an executive order, offers protection from deportation for Dreamers, the undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.

The program also authorizes DACA recipients to work and grants them a Social Security number.

In compliance with the U.S. District Court order, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is also doing the following:

  • Extending one-year grants of deferred action under DACA to two years.
  • Extending one-year employment authorization documents under DACA to two years.
  • Accepting applications for advance parole documents based on the terms of the DACA policy prior to September 5, 2017, and in accordance with the Court’s December 4, 2020, order.

“USCIS will take appropriate steps to provide evidence of the one-year extensions of deferred action and employment authorization documents under DACA to individuals who were issued documentation on or after July 28, 2020, with a one-year validity period under the defunct policy,” a website notice explains.

The notice warns that while the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will comply with the order while it remains in effect, relief from the order may be sought.

Those seeking guidance on issues related to DACA should contact Cramer & Anderson Immigration Attorney Lisa Rivas, who has been closely tracking the status of DACA while also investigating possibilities of other more lasting forms of relief.

“DACA recipients we work with include students and adults who have been able to work legally, obtain drivers licenses, and also go to college,” Attorney Rivas said. “It’s a vital program whose status affects hundreds of thousands of people across the country, including recipients with families of their own who can now provide for their children because of DACA.”

You may request DACA if you:

  • Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  • Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
About Attorney Rivas

Proclamation from President Trump suspends immigrationAttorney Rivas is based in Cramer & Anderson’s Danbury office and primarily practices Immigration Law and Family Law.

She has been honored for volunteer work on behalf of the immigrant community, including giving free talks on important issues.

The UConn Law School Alumni Association (LSAA) honored Attorney Rivas with a 2020 Graduates of the Last Decade Impact Award, citing her Immigration Law work for clients from Latin America, the Caribbean and elsewhere, as well as her pro bono efforts, including giving free talks on immigration issues.

In 2016, she won a Connecticut Law Tribune New Leaders in the Law award for her advocacy on behalf of the immigrant community.

That same year, the Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury gave Attorney Rivers its Above and Beyond Award, and she also has been honored with a Pro Bono Award as part of Law Day in Danbury for providing free legal assistance and teaching citizenship classes to members of Connecticut’s immigrant community.

Attorney Rivas may be reached by phone in the Danbury office of Cramer & Anderson at 203-744-1234, or by email at lrivas@crameranderson.com.

The firm also has offices in New Milford, Litchfield, Kent, Washington Depot, and Ridgefield. For more information, see the Cramer & Anderson website or call the New Milford office at 860-355-2631.