Michigan DACA Lawyer

In June 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will exercise prosecutorial discretion and not deport certain undocumented youth, under the program entitled “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” or DACA. Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer a removal action (deportation) of a foreign national as an act of prosecutorial discretion. An individual who receives deferred action is authorized by DHS to be present in the United States, and is therefore considered by DHS to be lawfully present during the period deferred action is in effect. However, as an immigration attorney would explain, deferred action does not confer lawful status upon an individual, nor does it excuse any previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence. For more information about how this program works, you should speak with one of our Michigan DACA lawyers.

Functions of DACA

An individual whose case has been deferred under DACA is eligible to receive employment authorization for the period of deferred action, provided he or she can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment.” An individual whose case has been deferred under DACA is also eligible to receive “advance parole” to travel outside the United States, provided the purpose of their international travel will be in furtherance of: 1) humanitarian purposes, including travel to obtain medical treatment, attending funeral services for a family member, or visiting an ailing relative; 2) educational purposes, such as semester-abroad programs and academic research; or 3) employment purposes such as overseas assignments, interviews, conferences or, training, or meetings with clients overseas. Travel for vacation is not a valid basis for advance parole under DACA. Please note that DHS can terminate or renew DACA at any time, at the agency’s discretion.

Only those who meet the following eligibility criteria may benefit from DACA:

  1. You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. You came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  3. You have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. You were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  5. You had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  6. You are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  7. You have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Our lawyers in Michigan could review an immigrant’s case and determine if they are eligible to be a part of the DACA program.

Recent Executive Orders Impacting the DACA Program


On November 20, 2014, through Executive Action, President Barack Obama announced that DHS would not deport certain parents of U. S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (DAPA). In addition, he expanded the DACA program (DACA+). However, on June 23, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a split decision, and as a result, DHS continues to be blocked from implementing DAPA and expanded DACA (DACA+). Individuals otherwise eligible for DAPA or DACA+ cannot apply at this time. Please note that the “block” does not affect the existing 2012 DACA applicants, and USCIS continues to accept applications (initial and renewal) from those who qualify under the DACA criteria announced in June 2012. As to the future of DAPA and DACA+, the two most likely scenarios involve a request for rehearing by the Supreme Court or allowing the case to go back to the district court for a decision. In both scenarios, a decision is not anticipated until 2018.

In addition, on November 20, 2014, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced new immigration enforcement priorities and guidance on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion entitled “Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants Memorandum.” All DHS agencies are responsible for applying these priorities when deciding which foreign nationals to arrest, detain, and remove from the United States. Priority One focuses on foreign nationals who are “threats to national security, border security, and public safety; Priority Two focuses on foreign nationals who are “misdemeanants and new immigration violators;” and Priority Three focuses on foreign nationals who have committed “other immigration violations” and is limited to individuals who have been issued final orders of removal on or after January 1, 2014. Under this guidance, individuals who qualify for DAPA or DACA+ do not fall under the stated priorities and should not be targeted for enforcement.

If you are in the U.S. without permission, we strongly urge you to seek the advice of an immigration attorney before you consider “turning yourself in” to U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). We advise you against seeking the advice of a “notario” or “immigration consultant” as they are not authorized to practice law. Please see https://www.uscis.gov/avoid-scams.

If you, or someone you know appears to meet these criteria, please contact  one of our Michigan DACA lawyers additional information. We may be able to assist you and would be happy to meet with you.

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