DACA continues to evolve through DHS policy
© Attorney Farhad Sethna 2012
As of October 10, 2012 almost 180,000 applications for DACA had been filed. Over 4,500 had been approved.
In a Presidential debate, candidate Romney indicated that if he were to be elected president, he would not “grant amnesty” to any illegals. Mr. Romney has also said that he would discontinue the DACA program. These two statements indicate that DACA is uncertain if Romney is elected president. This year, an estimated 24 million Latinos are eligible to vote! While I will never tell you who to vote for, the choice is clear: would you vote for a President who supports immigration or would you vote for a challenger who wants immigrants to “self-deport”?
In the course of a few months working on DACA petitions, we have been faced with several recurring questions to which we provide the following solutions:
1. How old do I have to be to apply for DACA?
You must be at least 15 years old to apply for DACA. If you are in removal proceedings, you can apply for DACA even if you are under 15.
2. I do not have a high school education. Can I apply for DACA?
Yes, you can apply for DACA if you are enrolled in a GED program. Many public schools, libraries, adult education centers and vocational centers offer GED programs. If you are enrolled in a GED program, you must attach proof of your enrollment with your DACA application. By the time you need to renew your DACA in two years, you should have completed or made significant progress on your GED.
3. I have a DUI. Can I apply for DACA?
If you have a DUI you cannot apply for DACA. If you have been convicted of a “significant misdemeanor” or a crime for which a sentence of 90 days or more was imposed you cannot apply for DACA. You can apply for DACA if you have upto 3 minor misdemeanors. One possible solution would be to go back to the court where the conviction was entered and petition (ask) the court to reduce the charge against you to one that is not a significant misdemeanor.
4. I have used a fake name and social security number in the past. Could that be a problem?
That depends on how you obtained the name and number and how you used that name and number. If you knowingly used a name and number belonging to a US citizen or applied for benefits (example: a drivers’ license), claiming to be a US citizen, then that could be a significant problem, not only on your DACA petition, but in any future applications for immigration benefits. However, the DACA form only asks for an “officially issued” SSN. If your SSN was fake (made up), or not “officially issued”, you don’t have to list it. If it was obtained through the SSA using false documents, then you have to provide the SSN. If the SSN is real but you did not obtain it through the SSA, then you do not have to provide it.
DON’T NEGLECT YOUR DUTY – IF YOU ARE A U.S. CITIZEN, GO VOTE!
About the author: Attorney Farhad Sethna has practiced law for over 20 years. Since 1996, he has been an adjunct professor of Immigration Law at the University of Akron, School of Law, in Akron, Ohio. His practice is limited to immigration and small business. With offices in Akron and Dover, Ohio, Attorney Sethna represents clients in all types of immigration cases. Our number is: (330)-384-8000. Please send your general immigration questions to AttorneySethna@immigration-america.com. We will try to answer as many questions as possible.
This is only general legal information. Please consult a qualified immigration attorney for advice on your specific case.