Home > Programs > DACA Information and Legal Clinics

The Coalition has provided Deferred Action Informational sessions and Legal Clinics since the announcement of the program. We have two components to our programs:

  1. Informational sessions: These consist of a presentation about the history and context of deferred action, who qualifies, and how to apply. We also feature question and answer sessions where you can ask specific questions of attorneys or qualified LBIRC representatives. We do not offer specific legal consultations at these informational sessions. Our next information session will be TBA.
  2. DACA Legal Clinics: There are two-part sessions, where applicants may review their materials with an attorney. In the first phase, applicants bring all parts of their application, completed, along with photocopies of necessary documents, to a qualified application screener. After successfully passing the screening and getting application tips, the participant makes an appointment to see a volunteer attorney. The attorney (lawyer) will give their final recommendations, free of charge, and the applicant should be ready to submit everything. These workshops are free of cost, though we ask for donations to help cover our costs. We do not fill out applications, so we ask that applicants come prepared. For information on the next legal clinic, please see follow us on Facebook.

LBIRC hosts Legal Clinics bimonthly, due to the logistics involved in recruiting attorneys. However, we are willing to bring Informational Sessions to interested groups who have an existing meeting space; contact us at admin@lbirc.org for more information

 

****UPDATE ON DACA: MARCH 2017****

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is still available and the government is still accepting and approving DACA initial and renewal applications. However, the program could be terminated at any time. As a result, the information in this document could change so always stay up to date.

Current DACA Recipients – Stay Calm and Stay Out of Trouble 

DACA should continue to provide you the same benefits–protection from deportation, work authorization and more. However, even if you have DACA, immigration authorities may detain you and terminate your DACA if you, after receiving a DACA grant:

  •  are arrested or convicted for any criminal offense,
  • admit to any criminal offense,
  •  are determined to pose a threat to public safety or national security,
  •  admit to fraud in connection with a government agency (such as use of a false social security number), or
  •  admit to gang affiliation.

According to DHS, if you disclosed the above information in previous DACA applications and your case was approved, you will continue to hold DACA. If you failed to disclose any criminal history in your application or experience new criminal issues after receiving DACA, you should speak to an attorney as you may be at risk.

Initial DACA Applications – Recommended Only With Attorney Representation 

Applying for DACA for the first time presents both benefits and risks. You should only apply after consulting with an attorney and considering the risks and benefits of your case. Be sure to have an attorney help you prepare your application. 

Prior criminal, immigration, fraud or gang issues could be particularly risky. Be sure to consult an expert before applying if you have: 

  •  previous criminal arrests or charges (even without a conviction);
  • any type of criminal conviction (including either misdemeanors or felonies);
  • any history of fraud related to a government agency (such as use of a false social security number); or
  • any history of fraud related to a government agency (such as use of a false social security number); or been deported or been ordered deported from the United States before. 

Initial applications may take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to be processed. If a new application is not approved before the DACA program is changed or terminated, you may lose your application $495 fee. Furthermore, you risk exposure to immigration authorities by sending them your personal data. If pending federal legislation (the BRIDGE Act) passes to replace DACA, you may be eligible for another, less risky opportunity to be protected from deportation and receive a work permit. 

DACA Renewals – Recommended for Certain Applicants:

 If you currently have DACA and want to renew it, you should renew immediately after consulting with an experienced immigration attorney or accredited representative. 

DACA renewal applications are still being accepted and approved which means you may receive a new work permit valid for another two years. The main risk is that the DACA program could be changed or terminated suddenly. If your renewal application is not approved before the program is terminated, you may lose the $495 application fee.

If you have any prior or new immigration or criminal issues, do not apply to renew your DACA until you first consult with a trusted legal service provider to assess your case. Some past criminal or immigration issues could impact your renewal application now even if you were approved for DACA in the past.

Advance Parole – Not Recommended 

Do not apply for or travel under advance parole through DACA at this time. 

If you have already been approved for travel outside the United States with advance parole or you need to request emergency advance parole (in person at a USCIS office), do so only after consultation with an experienced immigration attorney or accredited representative.

You should not travel with parole of any type if you have: 

  •  previous criminal arrests or charges (even without a conviction); any type of criminal conviction (including either misdemeanors or felonies);  
  •  any history of fraud related to a government agency (such as use of a false socialsecurity number); or been deported or been ordered deported from the United States before.

WARNING: Individuals with citizenship or travel documents from the following countries should not, under any circumstances, travel on advance parole because you may not be let back into the country in accordance with President Trump’s ongoing executive actions barring individuals from these countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia.

STEPS TO FOLLOW 

Consult with an experienced immigration attorney or accredited representative to understand your legal options and if you might be eligible for a safer, more permanent immigration benefit.

 Find low-cost immigration legal services: https://www.immigrationlawhelp.org.

Avoid fraudulent service providers: confirm their credentials, ask for a written contract and a receipt for any payments, and if you have doubts, get a second opinion.

 For more information, go to: https://www.ilrc.org/anti-fraud-flyers.

Avoid negative contact with law enforcement. Any arrest, charge, or conviction, especially related to gangs, drugs or a DUI can be really bad for your immigration situation.

If you have a criminal record, consult an expert. Certain convictions can be changed to lessen the impact on a future immigration case you may have.