- Deportation defense and appeals
- Adjustment of Status (Green Cards)
- The U Visa
- Cancellation of Removal
- Immigration Consequences of Criminal Offenses
- Release from DHS Custody
- LGBT Immigration
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
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Call our main number (510) 834-1288 to request more information/schedule an appointment.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) is the new program for young immigrants that provides work authorization, a social security number, and acess to a driver’s license. The program is the Obama’s administration’s temporary solution while we await passage of the DREAM Act in Congress. Deferred Action is approved in periods of two year increments, and can be renewed.
To qualify, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Have been under age 31 on June 15, 2012
- Have come to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007
- Have been present in the United States on June 15, 2012
- Have a high school diploma, a GED, be in school, or be an honorably discharged veteran
- Not have certain criminal convictions
Applicants can have taken short trips outside the United States as long as their residence was still in this country. Evidence to establish presence and residence can include high school transcripts, pay stubs from employers, immunization records, or other official or business documents.
Applicants must only show they are in school as of the date of application. An applicant can enroll in an education, literacy, or career-training program that is designed to lead to placement in postsecondary education, job training, or employment, if they show they are working toward such placement. Alternatively, an applicant can enroll in an education program assisting students either in obtaining a regular high school diploma or its recognized equivalent under state law (including a certificate of completion, certificate of attendance, or alternate award), or in passing a GED exam or other equivalent state-authorized exam.
Applicants with criminal histories should generally not apply for DACA without consulting an attorney. A felony, three misdemeanors, one misdemeanor with a 90 day sentence served, or one misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence, sexual abuse, burglary, a firearms offense, drug dealing, and driving under the influence will almost always disqualify an applicant.
However, applicants whose disqualifying convictions have been expunged have the opportunity to present evidence of countervailing circumstances. An expungement is a decision by a criminal court to erase a persons criminal history. An applicant whose DUI conviction was expunged might present evidence of rehabilitation, U.S. family ties, and hardship to his U.S. citizen children and DHS would weigh and balance those circumstances against the seriousness of the past offense.
Our DACA representation includes completion of all forms, support in evidence selection, attorney review of your application packet, attorney consultation to ensure your eligibility for DACA and to explore your and your family’s eligibility for more permanent immigration benefits. In more complex criminal cases, our representation can include seeking an expungement of a conviction and development of an argument that the offense is outweighed by other favorable factors.
To get started, contact our office for a consultation. We offer individual consultations at which DACA and other benefits are discussed. We also offer twice-weekly DACA workshops where you can learn more about this new program and ask questions from an attorney at a reduced price.
Over the past 15 years, our attorneys have helped hundreds of undocumented immigrants to legalize their status in the United States. Whether your case is relatively straightforward or you have a criminal history. Our team of experienced, dedicated, and compassionate immigration attorneys can help ensure your DACA application has the highest chance of success.