Criminal records and the Obama immigration initiative
The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center have published a practice advisory for criminal defense lawyers representing non-citizens seeking relief under the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program announced by President Obama on November 20, 2014. DHS simultaneously announced new priorities for enforcement that will bar eligibility for the new program, many of which are based on criminal conduct or convictions. The nine-page practice advisory provides technical assistance to criminal defense practitioners seeking to navigate the eligibility shoals of the new program for clients facing criminal charges.
The advisory explains DAPA thus:
DAPA offers benefits similar to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that has existed since 2012. It provides “deferred action,” which means that, even though the individual is undocumented and subject to deportation, the government agrees to “defer” any actions to remove them. While deferred action does not provide a pathway to lawful permanent resident status (a green card) or citizenship, it will allow recipients to remain in the U.S. and obtain an employment authorization document that will entitle them to work here legally.
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