On November, 20, 2014, President Obama announced a new category of deferred action applicants eligible for deferred action – undocumented persons who are the parents of US citizen or legal permanent resident children of ANY age — called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability or DAPA. Deferred Action would prevent deportation and allow a person to work legally by obtaining a work authorization card and social security number.

The specifics are the following:

1. Is a parent (biological or adopted) of a US citizen or LPR child of any age

2. Continuously resided in the US since January 1, 2010

3. The child was born on or before November 20, 2014 (future children do NOT count)

4. Applicant is not an “enforcement priority”

A new ICE memo was also announced on November 20, 2014 on the specifics of new enforcement priorities. It provides a hierarchy of three enforcement priorities, based on the gravity of criminal or immigration violations. A significant misdemeanor is listed under “priority 2” for those who should be deported and includes those convicted of a DUI. Therefore, it appears that applicants with DUI convictions will be ineligible for DAPA. Those who had a prior deportation, including those who had prior voluntary departure and did not leave, are considered “Priority 3” for deportability, and again may be ineligible for DAPA.

 The effective date of DAPA is May 20, 2014 according to USCIS

Anyone who believes they may be eligible for this program for undocumented or illegal persons living in Colorado or anywhere in the US should begin collecting valid identity, such as a matricula consular cards or passports, proof of physical presence in the United States for the past five years, and proof of relationship to US citizen or LPR children.

For questions or for legal advice on how these new programs may assist illegal or undocumented persons living in Colorado and the United States in general, please call Denver lawyer Catherine Brown at 303-322-2117.