by Farhad Sethna, Attorney and Counselor
Brace yourselves: SUPER-DACA (my term) is expected to go into effect in 90 days. It is part of President Obama’s sweeping executive action announced on November 20, 2014.
I have addressed other components of President Obama’s action in other articles on this website; this post discusses only “SUPER-DACA”.
There are two parts to SUPER-DACA:
Phase 1 affects many more young (and not so young) “DREAMERS” who were left out of DACA because of strict age requirements and lack of adequate presence in the USA. SUPER-DACA relaxes those age and physical presence requirements.
In an expansion of DACA, the President has decided that DREAMERS who arrived in the USA before January 1, 2010 will qualify for SUPER-DACA. DREAMERS who are above 31 years old will also qualify. Thus, SUPER-DACA expands DACA far beyond its original scope.
Phase 2 of SUPER-DACA is even more impressive: this time, the President has decided that families should not be split up. Undocumented parents of children born in the USA can qualify for SUPER-DACA. To qualify, parents of US Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident children (but NOT children who have received DACA) must have resided in the USA for at least five years. It is estimated that SUPER-DACA will benefit millions of parents who have a US Citizen or Permanent Resident child.
The new SUPER-DACA will be valid for three years when approved (the current DACA is valid for only two years).
Lets address some typical questions:
THIS SOUNDS WONDERFUL – when can I apply?
Phase 1 of SUPER-DACA – for children brought to the USA when they were young – is expected to start in 90 days, or three months
Phase 2 of SUPER-DACA – for parents of US Citizen or Permanent Resident children – is expected to start in 180 days.
What are the filing fees? The forms? The requirements?
The filing fee appears to be the same – $ 465 – as it was for DACA.
The forms will have to be modified to include the new category (parents) as well as the expansion of DACA.
Participation in Education program: the education requirement that was part of the original DACA is expected to be removed for Phase 2 (parents ) applying for SUPER-DACA.
Convictions: Like DACA, applicants will not qualify if they have been convicted of three or more misdemeanors, a DUI, or a felony.
Background checks: all SUPER-DACA applicants will have to submit to background checks (criminal and other checks including fingerprint database checks)
Taxes: Parents (Phase 2) will have to get a Social Security number and start paying taxes. It is unclear at this time if SUPER-DACA parents will also have to file and pay back-taxes (taxes for prior years which were not paid)
The rules for SUPER-DACA are not final. There are a lot of details which will be announced in the weeks and months ahead. But for those who may qualify, SUPER-DACA is a ray of hope. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has done nothing to improve the lives of millions of undocumented aliens. President Obama has taken a very courageous executive action to do so. He will need support to focus on completing and implementing his vision of SUPER-DACA.
Copyright, Farhad Sethna, Attorney, 2014
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. He is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education and professional development seminars on various immigration-related topics. His practice is limited to immigration and small business. With offices in Cuyahoga Falls, 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.