The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has been implemented by the US government and now is accepting applications. While this program may offer temporary relief from removal or deportation for many undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, the program has strict qualifying requirements. Houston immigration attorney Lori Laird invites you to contact her office so that she can evaluate your case and determine whether or not you are eligible to apply for deferred action under this new law. Lori Elaine Laird is also an experienced criminal defense attorney so she can advise you regarding the impact of any criminal convictions or pending criminal charges on your eligibility under this new law. She also may be able to seek post-judgment relief if you have a criminal conviction that would impair your eligibility under Obama's new Dream Act type legislation. The basis for determining eligibility is as follows:
- Entry into the United States before reaching your 16th birthday
- Continuous residence in the United States since June 15, 2007 through the present
- Under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
- Entry without inspection before June 15, 2012 or expiration of lawful immigration status as of June 15, 2012
- Currently enrolled in school, graduated, obtained your certificate of completion from high school, possess a general educational development certification, or received an honorable discharge from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
- No record of being convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat
- Presence in the United States on June 15, 2012 at the time of submitting an application for deferred action with United State Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS).
Our Houston-Galveston Texas attorneys can analyze the specific circumstances of your situation to ensure that you qualify under the requirements set forth for deferred action. Many young undocumented immigrants with a proven record of achievement in a university, military service, and post-graduate or professional degrees may be afraid to seek help under this new legislation because it requires disclosure of a substantial amount of information that could be used to the determinant of an applicant. While the information is not supposed to be used for purposes of deportation or removal, the thought of disclosing undocumented status, date of entry, country of origin, and other similar details can be disconcerting. Ms. Laird can discuss these issues and provide advice regarding your rights. If you have a criminal record, you not only may not qualify under Obama's new deferred action program for those brought to the U.S. as children but may also be subject to potential deportation or removal from the U.S. It is understandable under such circumstances that you may not want to complete detailed paperwork and submit it to USCIS in the form of an application for deferred action. Ms. Laird can examine your criminal record and advise you of any issues or potential risks. Ms. Laird may even be able to assist you in a current pending criminal case so that you do not unwittingly plead guilty to a charge that might impact your rights under Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program or otherwise compromise your rights as a non-citizen.