DAPA Program for DC Family Immigration 

DAPA is Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.  It is a program that was announced by President Obama in 2014 and it was intended to be a way for undocumented parents of U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident children who have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, to apply for deferred action, obtain work authorization, and remain in the United States under authorized stay. 

Unfortunately, no one is eligible to apply for the DAPA program for D.C. family immigration, as it was never implemented. A federal court injunction prevented the implementation of the program and on June 15, 2017, the Trump administration announced that plans to implement DAPA were rescinded. If you want to know of alternative options, get in touch with a knowledgeable family immigration lawyer who can advocate for you. 

Seeking Alternatives

The DAPA program for DC family immigration is not an option at the moment. No one has ever applied for DAPA, it was never implemented. The government has rescinded plans to implement the program and there is no telling whether the issue of undocumented parents of U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident children will be addressed in the future. 

At this point, individuals should prepare for what is available. Undocumented individuals with U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident children should prepare a defense against removal or prepare for adjustment when that child becomes 21 years of age.   

In the removal context, parents should prepare evidence of their presence in the United States for at least two years to avoid expedited removal and gather evidence of at least 10 years of continuous presence for the possibility that they may be eligible to apply for cancellation of removal for non-permanent residents. Parents should also have on hand evidence of their U.S. citizen children’s birth or evidence of the children’s permanent resident status, evidence of their good moral character, their marriage certificate, and passports.   

Other Family Related Visas

At this point in time, the family-related visas will be based on the petitioner’s existing family relationship with an immediate relative or a family preference category relative.  A parent may not be an immediate relative now but may become an immediate relative in the future.   

For instance, if a minor child is a United States citizen when that child is 21, they can petition for their parent and the parents may adjust if the parent has a lawful admission and has no other bars.  There is also the possibility that the parent may marry a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in the future and the parent can have that U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse file an I-130 on their behalf or file an I-130/I-485 concurrently. 

Value of an Attorney

A qualified immigration attorney can help people find alternatives to the DAPA program for DC family immigration. Consulting with an attorney is always the best option. Even if there are no immediately available remedies for your family, it is important that everyone understand that there may be avenues for remaining in the U.S. in the future.  A discussion about all the options available in the event that an undocumented parent is placed in removal proceedings, or if there are changes in status within the family, or if country conditions in the country of origin deteriorate, may alleviate the stress and fear that go hand-in-hand with living as an undocumented person.  Contact a compassionate and capable family lawyer who can work hard to attempt to keep your family together.

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