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Dream Act and Deferred Action

Nov 20, 2014: Expansion and Extension of Deferred Action

On November 20, 2014, the President announced an expansion of the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) and an extension of Deferred Action to parents of United States Citizen  and lawful permanent resident children (DAPA).   Millions of undocumented individuals in the United States will be eligible for these programs, which defer deportation and provide legal work authorization documents valid for three years.

DACA: The expanded program of “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” eliminates the prior 31-year-old age cap for eligibility.  Regardless of current age, individuals may be eligible for DACA if he or she arrived in the US before age 16 and before January 1, 2010.

DAPA: The newly announced program of “Deferred Action for Parental Accountability” benefits undocumented parents of  United States citizen and lawful permanent resident children (children born before November 20, 2014).  Eligibility requires that the applicant has been  present in the United States since at least January 1, 2010.


Applicants for either DACA or DAPA will be subject to criminal background checks.

The United States immigration service is not expected to begin accepting applications until spring 2015.  The applications are expected to require extensive documentation to prove eligibilty.   Evidence will be required to prove:

     Proper payment of federal income taxes;
     Physical presence in the United States since  January 1, 2010 until the filing of the application;
     Physical presence in the US specifically on November 20, 2014.

Please contact our immigration law office at (303) 442 8554 to set up a consultation to discuss your eligibility for these deferred action programs. 

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA):  Renewing Your Deferred Action

DACA recipients are being advised to apply for renewal of their deferred action 120 days (4 months) before their current deferral expires.  This will decrease chances that a DACA recipient will lose his or her employment because of a gap in the employment authorization document. The renewal process will involve filing new applications and paying the $465 to the government in addition to being screened for any criminal violations.

On June 15, 2012, the Obama administration announced a program to halt the deportation and removal of individuals who arrived in the United States as children and who meet the following criteria:

• came to the United States under the age of sixteen;

• has continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of
this memorandum and is present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
• is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a general education
development certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or
Armed Forces ofthe United States;
• has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple
misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety;
• is not above the age of thirty.

Individuals who believe they meet these requirements and who already have a final order of deportation or removal should immediately contact an experienced immigration attorney to assist them in seeking  protection from removal. Some language in the Napolitano memo indicate that the thirty year age limit may not apply to individuals with final orders of removal.

Individuals who are in removal proceedings should discuss their situation with their immigration lawyer for advice on how to proceed.

Individuals who are not already included in the immigration system should discuss their situation with an immigration attorney to understands the risks and benefits of applying for deferred action.

Individuals offered deferred action for two years will  be eligible for an employment authorization document if they can demonstrate economic need.   There are still thousands of eligible individuals who have not applied for this benefit.  It is not too late to apply.

Already is is time for some recipients of deferred action to apply for renewals.  The USCIS suggests that individuals granted DACA submit their renewal application 120 days before the current work permit expires.

See President Obama's speech.

Read our FAQs on Deferred Action.

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