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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Did you come to the U.S. as a child and still don't have employment authorization? There is still time to apply for DACA. Our attorneys can help determine if you are eligible for the work permit which can help you achieve your goals.

On June 15, 2012 and on the heels of a nationwide push for reform for DREAMers, President Barack Obama and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano jointly announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would exercise its prosecutorial discretion and grant deferred action to young adults who were present in the United States unlawfully. Aside from halting the deportation of young immigrants, the policy has also provided for employment authorization (or work permits), allowing for many eligible persons to obtain social security cards and driver’s licenses for the first time. For this reason, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has had life-changing results for many individuals.

DACA does not confer “legal status” or a green card to the applicant. However, if you entered the United States before your 16th birthday and prior to 2007, DACA may allow you to secure meaningful employment.

In order to qualify for DACA, you must meet multiple requirements. Because many undocumented individuals do not leave “paper trails” of their day-to-day activities, proving your eligibility may be difficult. However, our attorneys are dedicated to helping you build a strong case and will aid you in collecting evidence for your DACA application.

You may be eligible for DACA if you:

(1) Entered the United States before your 16thbirthday, are under 31 years old and have been in unlawful status since June 15, 2012:

Applicants may have entered without inspection before June 15, 2012 or have overstayed their lawful immigration status as of June 15, 2012

(2) Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012:

One of the strictest requirements, applicants must show that they were present in the United States on this very date.

(3) Have resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 to the present:

Applicants must provide documentary evidence for each year since 2007. Should you have difficulty proving your presence in the United States during these dates, our attorneys will aid you in crafting your strongest case by helping you obtain records demonstrating your presence or by taking sworn statements of witnesses that can attest to your residence in the United States.

(4) Are currently in school, have a high school diploma or GED equivalent or have been honorably discharged from the armed forces:

If you do not meet this requirement, our attorneys can direct you to GED or other acceptable educational programs that will allow you to be eligible for DACA.

(5) Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or more than three misdemeanors or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety:

Should you have any arrests or convictions on record, you are not immediately precluded from applying for DACA. During a consultation with our attorneys, we will analyze your pre-existing record and the ramifications it may have on your case.

Once we submit your application for review, you must successfully complete and pass a biographic and biometric background check before you may obtain your employment authorization document. Once you are in receipt of your work permit, you may apply for a social security card, driver’s license and of course, accept gainful employment. In some instances, you may also apply for a travel document to travel abroad for humanitarian or educational purposes.

If you are a young adult excited to explore the wealth of opportunities available to you in the United States and believe you may be eligible for DACA, do not hesitate to contact our attorneys for a consultation. Dream. We are eager to help you achieve your full potential.

Marilyn Labrada Dume

Marilyn Labrada Dumé

Founder & Managing Partner
Marilyn Dume is the founder and managing partner of the firm. Ms. Dume earned a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School in 1989. Prior to attending Columbia, Ms. Dume attended University of Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986. Ms. Dume is admitted to the New Jersey State Bar.

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