One of the initiatives outlined in the Immigration Accountability Executive Action of November 20, 2014 is deferred action for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (“DAP”).
DAP will benefit millions of undocumented individuals living in the United States who are parents of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and who meets the following DAP eligibility guidelines:
- Have continuous residence in the U.S. since January 1, 2010;
- Are the parents of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident born on or before November 20, 2014; and,
- Are not an enforcement priority for removal from the U.S., pursuant to the November 20, 2014, Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants Memorandum.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency under the Department of Homeland Security that will be handling the fee-based applications where people will apply for DAP status notes that it will consider each request for DAP status on a case-by-case basis. Also, enforcement priorities include national security and public safety threats.
Benefits include employment and travel authorization. One thing native-born Americans take for granted is the ability to apply for work and to be able to travel abroad. Having an employment authorization document (“EAD”) allows a person who is not a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or in a temporary worker visa category to apply for a social security number, driver license, and, of course, employment! It also appears that people granted deferred action stauts will be allowed to apply for a travel document so that they can travel abroad. Ability to travel has not been detailed to my knowledge, but mentioned generally. Before traveling outside of the U.S., people will need to apply for permission to travel or will jeopardize their status and may not be allowed to return. This requires a long legal explanation in and of itself, which I will not go into here.
Benefits do not include lawful permanent residence, much less U.S. citizenship. What it grants is deferred action status – meaning that the government will not seek to deport the individual granted that status for a period of three years.