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“What did the President do, exactly?”

The President announced one new program, expanded another, and made a lot of changes that will make immigration enforcement more humane and smarter.

The new program that everyone is talking about is called Deferred Action for Parents (DAPA). Under DAPA, the undocumented parents of United States Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents (green card holders) can register with the government and get work authorization if they came to the U.S. before January 1, 2010. The work authorization will be valid for 3 years. This new program has the potential to change the lives of up to 4.1 million people.

“What are the benefits of applying for DAPA?”

— Protects you from being arrested and deported for three years and can be renewed
— Provides an employment authorization document that will allow you to work legally
— Allows you to apply for a social security number
— In almost all states, you will be able to qualify for a driver’s license
— In many states, you will be able to qualify for instate tuition
— You may be able to apply to the government for a travel document that will allow you to leave and return to the U.S.

“Are there any dangers of applying for DAPA?”

We are still waiting to hear what confidentiality protections will be provided, both for the applicant and for others listed in the application. We are also waiting for details about what will happen to those who are denied.

Because DAPA, like DACA, is only a temporary permission to remain, it could be revoked at any time.

IMPORTANT: Be cautious about what you tell your employer. Saying that you are applying for DAPA might be interpreted as admitting that you are not authorized to be employed and could cost you your job.

“When can I apply for DAPA?” 

Not right now. Don’t be fooled by “notarios” and people who tell you otherwise. The government hasn’t set a date yet, but it will not be any later than mid-May.

In the meantime, you can start getting ready by collecting the information you might need to submit.

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