For those of you planning to apply for a driver's license (DL) under AB60, please be warned of the following information. The DMV aggressively pursues DL fraud cases. They consider it to be a security issue. They have recently taken the position that they will continue to do so in spite of AB 60's passage. For many, this may mean nothing. However, if an undocumented person has ever used fraudulent papers to secure a DL, you may want to warn them that applying for a driver's license under the new law will likely be a bad idea. Aggressive pursuit of DL fraud may include DMV contacting immigration authorities with any information they obtain regarding undocumented persons.
Yes, ICE detainers are no longer enforced here. Also, the TRUST Act passed into law, placing limits on enforcement of detainers. However, nothing in the law forbids state agencies, including the sheriff and the DMV, from sharing information with ICE. Also, the announcement by Obama in November included not only expansion of deferral of removal for certain classes of noncitizens but it also broader enforcement provisions different priority categories of persons for removal. If you client had or has an issue with false documents, and indicates they want to get a DL, you might want to warn them that doing so could place them on ICE's radar.
Moreover, if criminal charges are filed and one is convicted, it could disqualify them for future benefits including Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA).
On November 20, 2014, President Barack Obama announced his plans for a series of executive actions on immigration policy. An important centerpiece to the plans include the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program, which will provide temporary immigration relief to qualifying undocumented foreign nationals.
Presidential Executive Action
The President is addressing deficiencies in the current immigration system through this plan of implementing several executive actions. Moreover, the President indicated his desire and intentions to focus enforcement on criminals. Lastly, the President recognized he lacks the authority to provide undocumented individuals a pathway to citizenship, and hopes Congress will become motivated to address the immigration problem through a comprehensive bill.
Overview on DAPA
Those who are approved for the DAPA program will be protected from being deported for a period of three years, and will also be issued temporary work authorization. NOTE: A DAPA recipient will not have legal status, nor will they have access to becoming a lawful permanent resident.
Eligibility Requirements for DAPA
The requirements for individuals to qualify for DAPA are that they:
Application Process for DAPA
It is not yet possible to apply for DAPA. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is expected to initiate the program by May 19, 2015. In the meantime, those individuals who plan to apply for DAPA may wish to begin collecting documentation to establish eligibility. Such documents may include: proof of identity (ie. birth certificate and valid passport); proof of parentage of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident son or daughter (ie. birth certificate of child); and proof of continuous residence for the required time period (ie. bills, tax returns, contracts, paystubs, etc).
The series of executive action plans announced will prompt prompt unscrupulous individuals to try to take advantage of vulnerable foreign nationals. Until there is an official announcement, no applications can be filed. It is important to utilize reliable sources for information and assistance in immigration matters. Read more about how to identify and avoid immigration scams on the USCIS WebSite here.
You can remain updated on the progress of the DAPA progam by checking our website, liking us on Facebook here, or requesting to be placed on our CONTACT LIST by emailing the attorney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: There is a strong likelihood that several (not all) DAPA recipients will be eligible to seek Adjustment of Status (green card) after acquiring and utilizing Advance Parole travel benefits. Attorney Mario Zapata has succeeded in obtaining green cards for various clients who previously were issued Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). For more information on Adjustment of Status for DACA recipients under Matter of Yarabally, please go here. This type of case must be carefully evaluated by an experienced immigration attorney, as past immigration violations (ie. multiple entries, detentions, removals, crimes) could pose problems.
The Law Office of Mario Zapata will continue to closely monitor and track progress made the executive action programs, and provide readers with such updates analysis as soon as new information is released. We do not suspect that any further significant plans will be released in the near future absent an agreement on a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
Mario Zapata is an immigration attorney practicing out of Orange County, CA and represents clients nationwide.