Ensuring Family Unity Through Immigration Law

Schedule a Confidential Consultation with Our Top Portland DACA Attorneys

At Vanderwall Immigration, our dedicated Portland DACA attorneys are committed to keeping families united through effective immigration law representation. We provide compassionate, reliable, and solutions-focused guidance and support. With our team’s extensive knowledge and expertise, even the most complex DACA cases are handled with utmost care. If you have any specific questions or concerns about DACA, we are more than ready to assist you. To set up a confidential and obligation-free consultation with a top Oregon immigration lawyer, please contact us today.

An Overview of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a United States immigration policy that was established over a decade ago during the Obama Administration. Though it has faced challenges along the way, the DACA program is currently in effect as of spring 2023. Its primary goal is to protect eligible undocumented immigrants from deportation. Here are key benefits of DACA:

  1. Protection from deportation for individuals who arrived in the United States as children.
  2. Provision of temporary immigration relief to recipients.
  3. Granting recipients, the opportunity to live, work, and study legally in the country.

DACA recipients, commonly referred to as “Dreamers,” are granted a renewable two-year period of deferred action, allowing them to obtain work permits and access various benefits.

Understanding Eligibility for DACA

It is important to note that not every undocumented immigrant in the United States is eligible for immigration relief through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. To qualify for DACA, applicants must fulfill specific requirements set by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Here is a comprehensive overview of the DACA eligibility criteria:

  • Age at Arrival: Applicants must have arrived in the United States before turning 16 years old. Individuals who arrived at an older age are not eligible for DACA protections.
  • Continuous Residence: To qualify for DACA benefits, an applicant should have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, up to the present time.
  • Physical Presence: Applicants must have been physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of submitting their DACA application.
  • Education: Applicants must be currently enrolled in school, possess a high school diploma or GED certificate, or be honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard.
  • Lack of Criminal Record: Eligible applicants should not have been convicted of a felony, serious misdemeanor, or multiple minor offenses. Additionally, they should not pose a threat to national security or public safety, as a criminal record can render a person ineligible for DACA protections.
  • Biographic and Biometric Information: Applicants must provide their biographic information, submit biometric data (including fingerprints), and undergo a background check.

DACA has Been the Subject of Extensive Litigation (Final Rule October 2022)

Since its establishment in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been the subject of extensive litigation in the United States. DACA allows undocumented individuals who came to the US as children to receive protection from deportation and work authorization for renewable two-year periods. The program has faced legal challenges from opponents who argue that it exceeds the scope of executive authority and is unconstitutional. Consequently, DACA has been involved in several legal battles in federal courts, with the most recent being a 2020 Supreme Court ruling that upheld the program’s validity. In October 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a ‘Final Rule’ to protect and fortify DACA.

What to Know About DACA Renewals

If you are a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and wish to maintain your status and benefits, it is crucial to renew your DACA. The DACA program does not grant permanent legal status; rather, it provides temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for a specific period, typically two years. To continue receiving these protections and work authorization, DACA recipients must go through the renewal process before their current DACA status expires. It is essential to submit your renewal application within the designated time frame. As a general rule, a recipient should submit their DACA renewal between 120 and 145 days before their current DACA rights expire.

DACA: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is DACA?

DACA, officially known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a federal program established by the Obama Administration in 2012. It provides temporary relief from deportation and work authorization to eligible individuals who were brought to the United States as children without proper documentation. While DACA does not grant legal status or a pathway to citizenship, it allows recipients to live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation for renewable two-year periods. The program was designed as a temporary policy solution, but the underlying issue has yet to be fully addressed by American lawmakers.

How Do I Apply for Legal Protection Through DACA?

To apply for DACA, you must submit the required forms, documentation, and fees to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The necessary forms include Form I-821D (Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization), and Form I-765WS (Form I-765 Worksheet). You will also need to provide evidence supporting your eligibility, such as proof of identity, age, presence in the U.S., and educational or military status. It is crucial to consult with a Portland immigration attorney experienced in DACA cases to ensure you submit a complete and accurate application.

Can DACA Recipients Travel Abroad?

Yes, but there is a specialized process. DACA recipients can travel outside the U.S. only if they obtain advance parole, a special permission granted by USCIS for humanitarian, educational, or employment purposes. To request advance parole, DACA recipients must submit Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document) along with the required documentation and fees.

What Will Happen If My DACA is Terminated or Not Renewed?

It is important to emphasize that DACA provides temporary legal protection. In other words, recipients will lose their protection from deportation and work authorization if DACA is terminated or not renewed. If you have specific questions or concerns about your situation, an experienced Portland DACA lawyer can provide guidance.

You Can Trust the Portland, OR DACA Immigration Lawyers at Vanderwall Immigration

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a complex area of immigration law. Over the past years, the rules and regulations surrounding DACA have undergone changes, resulting in uncertainty and confusion. It is natural to have many questions about how the program works, including eligibility requirements and the application process. At Vanderwall Immigration, we have an in-depth understanding of DACA and are dedicated to helping you navigate through the challenges. When you consult with our immigration law team, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Share your story and have any legal questions about DACA answered.
  • Receive guidance in gathering and preparing all relevant background information.
  • Be guided through the DACA immigration paperwork.
  • Develop a personalized strategy focused on achieving the best outcome for your case.

Get Help from Our Portland, OR DACA Attorneys Today

At Vanderwall Immigration, our Oregon DACA immigration lawyers are skilled, experienced, and passionate advocates for clients. If you have any specific questions about the DACA process or require assistance, we are ready to help. Contact us right away for a fully confidential review of your case, without any obligation. From our law offices in Beaverton and Salem, we provide DACA representation in Portland and throughout the area, including Multnomah County, Washington County, and Marion County.

We will advise you of your eligibility for DACA and prepare all of the forms for your application package. We will also advise you on the necessary documents and evidence the government needs in order to approve your request.