On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive that will benefit many immigrants both documented and undocumented.
These initiatives include:
- Expanding the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to people of any current age who entered the United States before the age of 16 and lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years.
- Allowing parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, in a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents* program, provided they have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, and pass required background checks.
- Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
- Modernizing, improving and clarifying immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs to grow our economy and create jobs.
- Promoting citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents and providing an option for naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee.
Update: Due to a federal court order, USCIS will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA on February 18 as originally planned. The court's temporary injunction, issued February 16, does not affect the existing DACA. However, individuals may continue to come forward and request an initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA under the guidelines established in 2012. Please check back for any new updates.
You are eligible to request consideration of deferred action (DACA) if you:
- Were born AFTER June 15, 1981;
- Came to the United States BEFORE your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
- Are currently EITHER in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
How to apply for the original DACA program:
- Collect documents (e.g., school records, medical records, financial records, employment records, military records) as evidence that you meet the above guidelines.
- Visit USCIS’s website to download and print the forms for deferred action and work authorization (www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals). Forms also available below.
- Complete and mail the completed forms to USCIS with the necessary fees (at this time, USCIS has stated that fees will be $465 in total for deferred action and work authorization).
- Visit your local USCIS Application Support Center for a scheduled biometrics services appointment.
- Check the status of your request online.
Extends the deferred action period and employment authorization to three years from two years, and allows you to be considered for DACA if you:
- Meet all the other DACA guidelines.
An undocumented individual living in the United States who is the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and who meets the guidelines listed below.
- Allows parents to request deferred action and employment authorization if they:
- Have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010;
- Had, on November 20, 2014, a son or daughter who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; and
Are not an enforcement priority for removal from the United States, under the November 20, 2014.
Notes: USCIS will consider each request for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) on a case-by-case basis. Enforcement priorities include (but are not limited to) national security and public safety threats.
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In 2013 Mayor Eric Garcetti re-established a partnership with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to develop civic education workshops to promote citizenship in Los Angeles. The Citizenship Corners program provides education materials in public libraries throughout the city, and all 72 libraries offer the innovative program “A Path to Citizenship” to reach immigrant populations and the city’s 350,000 legal permanent residents.
The City will augment the Los Angeles Public Libraries system of Citizenship Corners by integrating a financial component to its already popular citizenship programs, providing guidance to financial coaching resources and access to micro-loans and savings for the city’s immigrant community. The city will also target businesses that have large numbers of eligible citizens and immigrant populations for citizenship and financial coaching support.
Recent research shows that naturalized immigrants achieve an increase in earnings of 8-11%, nationally, with multiplier effects stimulating the local economy. Yet roughly one-third of immigrants eligible to naturalize fail to do so because of various obstacles, such as the high cost, lack of English proficiency, and lack of knowledge about the naturalization process. The Cities for Citizenship program was created to tackle this issue and contribute to the betterment of this nation’s social fabric.