An Immigration and Social Services Provider
                                                               An Immigration and Social Services Provider     

The Legal Corner - December 2014

As you may already know, on November 20th, President Obama took executive action to amend several aspects of our immigration laws. Among these new policies, there are two deferred action programs that may benefit certain undocumented members of our community.

The first is an expansion of the already existent Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The new policy changes three things, it

  1. Adjusts the entry date requirement from June 15, 2007 to January 1, 2010. This means that future applicants need to show that they entered the U.S. prior to January 1, 2010. The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) estimates that the date advancement increases DACA eligibility to an additional 85,000 youths.
  2. Removes the age cap. This means that applicants need no longer have been born prior to June 15, 1981, that is 31 years or younger in June 2012. Now so long as an applicant meets all other eligibility requirements, his or her age in June 2012 or at the time of application does not matter. An estimated 205,000 more persons will be eligible for DACA due to this change.
  3. Extends approval and work authorization to 3 years. Up until now, DACA was valid only for 2 years.

All other DACA eligibility criteria remain intact. The changes will become effective within 90 days of the announcement, or in late February 2015. DACA applicants lodging applications prior to that time will not benefit from the above.

The second is the creation of a new program for the parents of U.S. citizen (USC) or lawful permanent resident (LPR) sons and daughters (DAP). MPI estimates that close to 4 million people would be covered by this program. In order to be eligible, an applicant on November 20th, 2014 must

  • Be without lawful status, i.e. his or her visa or visa waiver had expired, or she entered without a visa
  • Have a son or daughter who is a USC or LPR of any age, married or unmarried;
  • Be physical present in the U.S., as well as on the day when he or she applies for this program;
  • Have continuously resided in the U.S. prior to January 1, 2010;
  • Not be an enforcement priority (see below); and
  • Not have any discretionary factors that make the grant of deferred action inappropriate.

DAP approval will be valid for 3 years and potentially entitle approved applicants to a work permit and the ability to travel with advance permission. The cost will be $465. DAP applications should be available within 180 days from the announcement, or in late May 2015.

A new memorandum also unifies the enforcement priorities of the Department of Homeland Security across the board. It prioritizes the type of criminal and immigration offenses that should receive the most attention when the various agencies that make up DHS (Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Patrol, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) decide who apprehend, detain, or remove from the country. These priorities are tiered to three levels:

  • Level 1
    • Terrorist activity or pose national security risk;
    • Caught immediately at the border;
    • Convicted of felonies or “aggravated felonies”;
    • Convicted of a gang crime or intentionally participated in an organized criminal gang to further the illegal activity of gang.
  • Level 2
    • Convicted of three or more misdemeanors;
    • Convicted of a “significant misdemeanor” (e.g. domestic violence, sexual abuse, burglary, DUI);
    • Caught after entering unlawfully and came after January 1, 2014;
    • “Significantly abused” visa or visa waiver systems.
  • Level 3
    • People ordered removed on or after January 1, 2014.

If you fall under any of these categories, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced immigration attorney or accredited representative. Even if you do not, but have had interaction with police or immigration authorities, it is advisable that you seek legal advice prior to applying. You can search for private attorneys here or non-profit organizations in your area here. As always, you can also call us on 773-282-8445 or come to our Thursday night walk-in clinic.  

Remember: there is nothing to apply for right now! So, if anyone asks you to sign any forms or pay them money to work on your application, they are scamming you. CIIS will host another information session on Thursday, Dec. 18th @ 7pm in the Irish American Heritage Center. You can also check out our website for our informational PowerPoint where you can read more about how to get ready and helpful resources for information and updates.


Contact Us


Click HERE to join our mailing list and stay up to date with all that's going on at CIIS 


Office Address:

4626 N. Knox Avenue,

Suite 301
Chicago, IL 60630















Call 773-282-8445 to schedule your appointment at one of our upcoming legal immigration clinics!


Please, check our Facebook page for any changes or updates to our clinic hours. Thank you!

Undocumented Irish- Click Image for Website
Print Print | Sitemap
© Chicago Irish Immigrant Support