Wake Up Call for DAPA Parents

Wake Up Call for DAPA Parents

In 2014, former President Obama issued a memo for “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA).”  That program was similar to the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program for young children and would have allowed work authorization and protection from deportation for parents of U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR or green card) children.  Unfortunately, in 2015, court injunctions blocked DAPA from going into effect.

There were many parents who had U.S. citizen or LPR children and were at first excited when DAPA was announced but then depressed when the courts blocked it from going into effect.

Perhaps your U.S. citizen child was young at the time DAPA was introduced but may now be over 21 years of age.  Or, your LPR child is now a U.S. citizen.  In that case, your child could possibly petition you for a green card, provided you are otherwise eligible and have no issues concerning your immigration status.

I have had many consultations where I have advised people to come back when their U.S. citizen child turns 21, as that may have been their only avenue for legalization.  I believe the record for me was when a woman consulted with me when she was five months pregnant, and I jokingly told her to come back when her baby was 21 years of age.  Decades later, she showed up with her child, and he was able to petition her for a green card.

In many cases, a person being petitioned by a U.S. citizen child could be eligible for their green card in the U.S., even if they are out of status, work without authorization, etc.  On the other hand, there are certain people who may not be eligible to adjust their status or obtain their green card in the U.S., depending on how they originally entered the U.S.  Others may have had fraud on their record, which could also affect their ability to get a green card through their U.S. citizen child.

If your U.S. citizen child is now over 21 years of age, you may want to consult with an attorney who could evaluate your eligibility and current immigration situation and perhaps assist you in pursuing your American dream.


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