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Shattering Myths about DACA Immigration Amnesty

daca123.jpgDeferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will help at least 560,000 people who are not U.S. citizens. This act, recently renewed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, applies to non-U.S. citizens who came to the country through a parent’s illegal actions. DACA allows such people, as long as they have not developed a significant criminal record, to get a Social Security Number and work authorization in the United States. In most areas of the country including Austin, TX, these non-citizens can obtain a driver’s license.

New DACA applications as well as renewals are only available to people who have continuously lived in the United States since June 15, 2007. One or both of their parents must have chosen the route of illegal immigration to gain entry into the United States. Anyone convicted of a felony, three or more misdemeanor crimes, or who poses a credible threat to national security is ineligible for immigration amnesty.

An applicant must be at least 15 years old to apply; exceptions may be made for children who have had previous contact with immigration authorities in the Austin, TX area or beyond. No one born after June 15, 1981, will ever become too old for DACA, as long as their illegal presence in the country is the result of a parent’s choices. Those who have left the United States for any period of time are ineligible for immigration amnesty.

Education is a vital component of the DACA program. Applicants who have dropped out of high school are still eligible, but only if they attend a GED, English as a Second Language, career-training program, or literacy program. The aim of DACA is to help people who did not voluntarily break immigration laws to become productive members of American society. Thus, education is a key component of the program.

As of June 2014, the filing fee for a new or renewal DACA authorization is $465; this fee includes the cost of the required fingerprinting and criminal background check. Those who currently have an immigration amnesty should apply for a DACA renewal at least four months before their current permit is scheduled to expire. Though DACA currently serves 560,000 people, the Immigration Policy Center estimates that 1.8 million people may be eligible for this assistance.

Older applicants for immigration amnesty are statistically more likely to be denied DACA, so getting the advice of a qualified Austin, TX immigration lawyer will dramatically improve an applicant’s chances of legally remaining in the United States. If you, or someone with whom you are acquainted, need aid with a U.S. immigration or naturalization complication, contact the Lyttle law firm today by calling 512-215-5225.