Now that elections are over and President Joe Biden has been elected, will DACA be reinstated? Will you be able to apply for DACA?
Attorney Jeff Peek discusses how President Joe Biden and his Administration will impact DACA recipients, how to know if you are eligible for DACA, and how you can start preparing for when he takes office in January 2021.
Joe Biden has won the elections, and he is set to take office on January 20, 2021. Everyone’s question is, what’s going to happen with DACA? The great news is that the Biden Administration has already announced they have plans to reimplement DACA as it was back under the Obama administration. They will start accepting new applications.
As you might recall, very shortly after President Trump entered office, they announced they’re going to stop accepting new applications. We’ve been under that for almost two years.
Furthermore, the Biden administration has hinted at the possibility of even expanding DACA. We’re excited to see what’s going to happen. For now, we know they’re going to re-accept new applications.
Who is Eligible for DACA?
1. You have to come to the United States before you’re 16.
2. You have to have been in the United States before June 15, 2007 and stayed in the United States since that time.
Let’s clarify one point. Let’s say, for example, you came come in the United States before you were 16 but left and then came back before June 15, 2007. When you returned, you were already 16. Would you qualify? The answer is yes. If you had an entry before 16, as long as before June 15, 2007, it would count.
3. You have to be in the United States when they implemented DACA, which was June 15, 2012. You cannot have been on a visa at that time.
4. You have to be either in school, graduated, or have a GED.
GED stands for General Educational Development. It’s a test you can take to prove that you’ve mastered the knowledge. Now, a lot of people say, “I dropped out and never finished school; I’m not eligible anymore?” Wrong. You can enroll even as an adult. We’ve seen people as old as 29 enrolled in a GED program, and that counts. You don’t have to get the diploma; just be enrolled in the program.
5. You can’t have any disqualifying criminal convictions.
The most common disqualifying criminal convictions are DWI, more than three misdemeanor convictions, 90 days in a jail sentence, domestic violence, or any felony would disqualify you. There a lot more, but these are the most common ones.
What can I do right now?
Well, you can get prepared. January 20 is right around the corner, and you don’t want to wait until the last minute. We recommend talking to an immigration attorney to make sure you’re eligible and discuss the process. Start gathering all the documents you will need, such as proof of residence since 2007.
We’d love to help you here at Peek & Toland. We’re excited for all you young people who are eligible for DACA. We’re excited about the possibility that it might even get expanded. Please pay attention to our updates every Immigration Wednesdays or follow us on social media for up-to-date information.