On November 20, 2014, the President announced the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program. This new deferred action program benefits undocumented immigrants that are parents of a U.S. Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents as of November 20, 2014.
The Deferred Action for Parents program provides significant benefits to undocumented immigrants and their families. If your request for relief under this new program is granted, you will be able to remain in the U.S. for three years without fear of being deported because of your immigration status. You may also be granted a work permit that will allow you work legally in the U.S. during that three year period. As a Texas resident, once you obtain the work permit, you can apply for a driver’s license. Since this program is modeled after the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, it is likely that applicants will be able to request a renewal of the deferred action status.
An important benefit of this new program is that parents that qualify for relief will be able to avoid deportation even if a final order of removal has been issued in their case. Further, immigration enforcement officials have been instructed to identify individuals currently in custody who qualify for deferred action. Immigration officials must also review pending removal cases and if the individual qualifies for deferred action, they must terminate proceedings or seek administrative closure.
To qualify for the program, you must establish that:
- As of November 20, 2014, you were the parent of a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident;
- That you were present in the U.S. on November 20, 2014;
- That you have lived continuously in the U.S. since January 1, 2010;
- You do not have a lawful immigration status;
- You have not been convicted of a criminal offense that would disqualify you from participating in the program;
Applicants will also be subject to a background check. The application fee is $465, which includes the $380 employment authorization fee and the $85 fee for fingerprints.
You will not be able to submit an application for this program until late May 2015. In the meantime, you can gather the documents necessary to prove that you have lived in the U.S. since January 1, 2010. Examples of acceptable documents are school records, financial records, and medical records. You should try to include at least one document for each month since January 1, 2010.
Finally, avoid falling victim to a scam. If you have any questions or concerns about your eligibility for relief, speak to a qualified immigration professional. An attorney experienced in immigration law can answer all of your questions and help you with the application process.