The biggest concern for DACA holders, aside from losing work authorization, may be the ability to remain in the United States under a presidential administration that has not shown much warmth for undocumented persons or immigrants in general. One of the fears when DACA was initially announced was that a person would have to give their fingerprints, photo, and address to a government that might be offering solutions to them presently, but could change if a different president or political party were in power. And this is exactly what is happening right now. Recall that DACA does not confer legal status but is a form of prosecutorial discretion called deferred action, that defers the deportation or removal of an unauthorized person from the United States.
If a foreign national of another country is found to be present in the United States without authorization, they could be processed for a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court. There, if alienage is established and if no form of relief from deportation is pursued, it could be possible for that person to be ordered deported or removed from the United States. The reality of this happening anytime soon is minimal, but it is a possibility. Mr. Amiri and the DACA team at Rose Law Group have represented multiple foreign nationals in immigration court who at one time had DACA status but lost it due to failure to renew or the commission of a disqualifying crime. Thankfully, there are many possible solutions in this scenario.
The Department of Homeland Security, through Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) regularly detains persons found to be present in the United States in violation of its immigration or criminal laws. In that event, they can be taken into custody, processed with a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court, and in some cases released on an order of supervision with regular check ins required, but in many cases detained and forced to seek a bond from an Immigration Judge.
To qualify for a bond, a foreign national need to establish to the satisfaction of the Immigration Judge that they do not pose a danger or a flight risk. Darius Amiri and the Immigration Lawyers and DACA team at Rose Law Group have secured bonds for release from ICE custody for hundreds of clients, many of whom had been DACA recipients. Often times DACA is viewed as a strong equity by an immigration judge, as it requires lengthy presence in the United States and often times a high school diploma, GED or equivalency degree, which immigration judges like to see as it can often demonstrate interest in education and work ethic.
It is advisable to discuss options with an immigration lawyer if DACA status has not been renewed or has been terminated through the commission of a crime or court order. Certain decisions like the preparation of a power of attorney, or the preparation of a packet of documents in support of release from immigration custody, could be the difference in a quick release versus a lengthy detention in the event that a person is detained by ICE.
Cancellation of Removal is a popular and widely used form of immigration relief available to a person who has continuously resided in the United States for ten years, has good moral character, and can demonstrate exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident parent, child, or spouse were they to be deported. Many DACA recipients, or Dreamers, can qualify for this type of relief from deportation if they are ordered to appear in immigration court because a requirement for DACA when they first applied was to demonstrate continuous presence in the US since June 2007. However, apart from length of time in the United States, the most important factor is demonstrating extreme and exceptional hardship to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident parent, child, or spouse, which is no easy task. Furthermore, there is statutory limitation of only 4,000 grants of Cancellation of Removal for each fiscal year. Prior to applying for cancellation of removal or counting on the fact that a person with DACA could qualify for this type of relief, it is advisable to discuss this with a qualified immigration attorney such as Darius Amiri and his legal team at Rose Law Group, PC
A foreign national may also qualify for protection under US asylum laws if they can establish that they have a fear of persecution in their home country based on race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or their membership in a particular social group. There are many examples of persons with DACA who were deported from the United States and then extorted, kidnapped, tortured and in some cases even murdered when returned to their home country. In many cases these people could qualify for protection by seeking asylum or withholding of removal in immigration court. If granted by an immigration judge, a person with an approved asylum application can become a lawful permanent resident in the year following such approval provided they maintain residence in the United States. Often there are many hurdles to a successful asylum application such as establishing the appropriate grounds or overcoming the requirement that the application be filed within one year of the persons most recent entry to the United States. For those reasons it is recommended that a person discuss the requirements for asylum and how their case may apply with a qualified immigration attorney prior to submitting an application.
Many persons with DACA are eligible to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident through the filing of an I-130 Family Petition by a qualifying relative. Mr. Amiri has represented many persons with DACA who eventually married their US citizen significant other and were then able to obtain residency through the filing of a family petition through a process known as adjustment of status. For someone to adjust their status to a lawful permanent resident, they must demonstrate that they were lawfully admitted to the United States upon entry, often proven through an I-94 stamp in their visa. However, many DACA recipients were brought to the United States without documentation, and therefore require a waiver of unlawful presence prior to obtaining their lawful permanent residency in the US. This can be accomplished through the filing of an I-601A Provisional Waiver of Unlawful Presence and by demonstrating extreme hardship to a US citizen parent or spouse. The Immigration defense team at Rose Law Group PC is able to advise their clients on how to navigate this complicated process with precision, having done so for many of their DACA clients to great results.
Absent any other form of relief in immigration proceedings, a person may still apply for release on the premise of Humanitarian need. Humanitarian parole is the act of ICE exercising discretion to release a detained person to the custody of a relative in the United States rather than detaining them at an immigration detention center, such as the ones in Eloy, Arizona and Florence, Arizona. If a foreign national is able to submit identity documents such as a passport or birth certificate, proof of a US based sponsor who has a local address and sufficient income to serve as a sponsor, and proof that they are not a flight risk or danger based on their prior immigration or criminal record, then ICE may approve their release. This is a discretionary form of relief and not one that can be depended on in every circumstance. That being said, Darius Amiri has obtained release from ICE custody via humanitarian parole for many of his DACA clients who have had the misfortune or being detained by ICE at one point.
Polls show widespread and bipartisan support for Dreamers and DACA, even in a time when immigration remains a very polarizing topic. And rightly so! We owe so much to our Dreamers, they have enriched our country through their culture, their experiences, their vision, their work, their contribution to society, their tax contributions, their families, their visions, their charity, and their belief in and dedicated pursuit of what it means to be American. We cannot give up on them even if the Supreme Court allows their status to be terminated. Darius Amiri and the DACA defense team at Rose Law Group have advocated for Dreamers and for DACA and will continue to do so through Congress.
Let your Congressperson know that you support DACA and our Dreamers too. If the Supreme Court fails them, then its on Congress to protect them through legislation.