What to Do If DACA Ends
The Supreme Court will rule on DACA in their next term, which begins in October 2019 and runs until June of 2020. There, they will decide whether to back the 3 federal judges who have already ruled the Trump Administration’s efforts to end the program are unconstitutional.
The Trump administration argues Obama exceeded the powers granted to him by the constitution by bypassing to create DACA in the first place. The majority of the judges on the Supreme Court are conservative, which may give the Trump administration an edge.
For a look at a 2016 Supreme Court case which may get cited in the upcoming decision, read this post.
What Happens to Dreamers if DACA Ends?
It is uncertain what laws may pass in DACA’s place if it ends, or what will happen to people who are currently under DACA’s protection. Even if no deportations take place, the end of the protection would still mean, for most Dreamers, an inability to get a driver’s license, an inability to work legally, and an inability to attend college.
The Center for American Progress estimates the ruling could have an immediate impact on 700,000 individuals.
But that does not mean Dreamers are without recourse. If you’re a Dreamer you may qualify for a number of other immigration statuses, some of which could even provide a path to citizenship DACA currently lacks.
See also: As Legal Battles Rage, Pennsylvania Residents Remains Friendly to DACA Recipients.
The Immigrant Resource Legal Center estimates 15% of current DACA recipients could take advantage of other statuses.
Strategies With a Path to Citizenship
The first strategy would be permanent residence through a family member. This includes the “Parole in Place” program offered to the family members of active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces or veterans. The latter offers a legal pathway to adjust your status.
If you are a victim of a crime you may qualify for a U visa. You would qualify if you meet four criteria, but be careful: there is a lot of wriggle room in the language. You will need an immigration lawyer’s help to make your case. Simply being the victim of a crime is not enough.
See also: Military Service No Longer An Easy Path to Citizenship.
Strategies With a Path to Permanent Residency
The Violence Against Women Act offers provisions to immigrants who have been abused by U.S. citizens. It offers an expedited path to legal residency.
If you are a victim of human trafficking you could be eligible for a T visa. This visa lets you remain in the United States to assist in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers. This visa also allows you to remain in the United States if you are a minor who was trafficked, regardless of your ability or willingness to help law enforcement. This visa is valid for 3 years, and grants the ability to apply for permanent residency after the three year period.
The Special Immigrant Juveniles status offers protection if you’ve been abused, neglected, or abandoned by a parent.
Immigrants who have or can seek asylum status may also apply for permanent residence within one year of being admitted to the United States.
See also: What is the Current Law on Claiming Asylum in the United States?
It may seem like most of the pathways to residency mostly require you to have suffered grave distress. But there is one more pathway to residency, one that might be a logical step for Dreamers who are already employed. An employer, or even a prospective employer who has issued a job offer, may sponsor you. However, as with other immigration categories, you must meet certain criteria. Simply having an employer is not enough.
Now is the Time
It goes without saying that each of these forms of recourse are difficult to obtain without the help of a skilled immigration attorney. Don’t take chances and don’t wait for DACA to be decided. Start investigating your options now, before time runs out.
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Although it often comes with controversy, immigration into the United States has always played a major role in the strength of its economy. Perhaps no one understands this more than the residents of Philadelphia, where the Liberty Bell still welcomes foreigners to one of the richest historical communities of our country.
Not knowing or understanding the system and laws of the U.S. can be a disadvantage for many foreign immigrants who wish to obtain permanent residency in the United States, either for themselves or for their loved ones. Hykel Law’s Family-Based Immigration Services can lead you through the complicated process to achieve either temporary or permanent residency, depending on your situation.
Are you afraid of deportation? If you are a foreign national involved in the beginning stages of removal proceedings, the deportation attorney at Hykel Law in Philadelphia can help prevent this unfortunate situation. We can evaluate your immigration case and find the best strategy to defend you from removal proceedings to help you stay in the United States.