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What are the DAPA and DACA Expansion Programs? How Will the Supreme Court’s Decision in U.S. v. Texas Affect Me?

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On April 18, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear U.S. v. Texas, the landmark immigration case where Texas and 25 other states sued the Federal government to oppose President Obama’s Executive Actions, which would provide relief from deportation and work authorization for about 3.9 million undocumented immigrants and bring about an increase in state gross domestic product (GDP) and tax revenues.

In fact, according to a recent study, if the Supreme Court Rules against DAPA and DACA-Expansion, the states suing the federal government will lose a combined $91.9 billion in new state GDP over a decade and miss out on a total of $272 million in annual tax revenue, and residents of these states stand to lose an estimated $48.4 billion in increased earnings.

The human cost is equally catastrophic. According to the same study, 2.6 million U.S. citizens live with a DAPA-eligible family member in the plaintiff states, meaning that millions of fathers, mothers, daughters, sisters, brothers, and sons could be torn away from their families if the Court rules against DAPA and DACA-Expansion.

Click here for an Infographic from the Center for Migration Studies, capturing the employment and education backgrounds of DAPA- and DACA-eligible individuals.

Who would qualify if the Supreme Court rules in the federal government’s favor?

DAPA – Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents

  • Have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, up to present;
  • Were physically present in the United States on November 20, 2014 and at the time of application;
  • Had no lawful status on November 20, 2014 (includes overstaying your visa or crossing the border without being inspected by border officials);
  • Had, on November 20, 2014, a son or daughter of any age or marital status, who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder); and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more misdemeanors; is not a threat to national security or is an enforcement priority for removal.

Click here for the DAPA Fact Sheet from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Expansion

  • Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since January 1, 2010, up to the present time;
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of application;
  • Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a GED, or honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard; and
  • 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.

Click here for the DACA-Expansion Fact Sheet from the USCIS. Click here to learn more about DACA in its current format.

What can I do now?

While USCIS is not accepting requests or applications at this time, if you believe you may be eligible for DAPA or DACA-Expansion, you can prepare by gathering documents that establish the following:

  • Identity: passport, state-issued ID cards (e.g. NYCID, consular ID), driver’s license, employee identification card, school identification card, health insurance card, military identification card.
  • Relationship to U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident: birth certificate, marriage certificate, adoption certificate, legitimation documents, divorce/annulment decrees, death certificate.
  • Continuous residency in the U.S. over the last five years or more: tax filings, utility and other bills, lease, school records, diplomas, certificates, IEPs, medical/hospital records, vaccination records, W-2/1099 forms, employment contract, employment letters, bank statements, credit card notices, money transfer receipts, online purchase receipts, religious records, dated photographs, library card records, gym and other membership records, social media updates, car payment receipts, insurance receipts, and others.
  • Physical presence on key dates (January 1, 2001; November 20, 2014; June 15, 2012): see previous list.
  • Proof of good moral character: certificate of good moral conduct, state background check, FBI background check.
  • Proof that you’ve met the education or military service component: school records, diploma, transcripts, certificates & awards, GED certificate, discharge papers and separation documents.
  • Affidavits: from individuals who can attest to your continuous residency, physical presence and other factors. This alone may not be enough, but combined with other documents, it may provide support for eligibility for these programs.


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