DACA is Ending, Now What?

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On September 5, 2017, the administration announced that it will be ending DACA. Hundreds of thousands of young people will be losing that protection from deportation.

Q:  I am a DACA recipient, what do I do now?

If you are a DACA recipient, it is essential that you put yourself in contact with an experienced immigration lawyer to have a discussion about what your options may be. The DACA program meant that you came forward to the government, and were given some assurances due to DACA that you would not be removed from the United States, and that you could work legally and attend school in this country. Now those assurances are gone.

From the most recent announcement, it appears that the Administration is “rolling out” the end of DACA with a “delay.” What this means in actual practice is still to be seen. We are keeping fully updated on the matter as it unfolds.

Q:  There are people in my neighborhood who offer “immigration services” and help people fill out paperwork.  Should I just go to them?

These non-lawyers (often called “notarios” in some communities) are not licensed. This means that they are not subject to oversight by any regulatory authority. There are countless stories of innocent immigrants handing over their hard-earned money to “notarios,” only to come back for their next “appointment” and find the door locked and the establishment has been closed. Be safe, and hire a lawyer who is licensed. Now is not the time to take chances with your life by working with people who do not have the nuanced understanding of the law, the way a lawyer would have. Please also know that those individuals who engage in notario “services” are actually breaking the law. It’s called “unlicensed practice of law,” and it’s a crime. Don’t be a victim. Call a licensed lawyer.

We have a line dedicated to deportation, asylum, and DACA:  (212) 643-0985

Q:  What happens to my work permit?

Your work permit is connected to your DACA status. As the situation unfolds, the Administration will be announcing how this affects people who currently have DACA and work permits, since people have various expiration dates. It is essential that you be in contact with a licensed immigration lawyer so that as the information comes out from the Administration, you can know what your rights are.

Q:  I’ve been here for more than ten years.  I’ve heard there is something called the “ten year green card.”  How can I apply for that?

There is a form of immigration relief called “Cancellation of Removal.” It is something that you can ask for only in front of the Immigration Court.

So first, you must be placed into deportation (also called removal) proceedings. To prevail on a claim for cancellation of removal, you must show that you have been continuously present in the United States for at least ten years, that you are a person of good moral character, and that certain family members you have in the United States (who themselves are either green card holders or U.S. citizens) will suffer “extreme and unusual hardship.” It is not easy to prove this, and not all relatives “count” for purposes of cancellation of removal.

Also, the issuance of the charging document (the Notice to Appear) and also committing certain crimes (and the list is quite long) cuts off your ten years. It is possible that as someone who had DACA, and is now out of status, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may put you into removal proceedings. If you are put into proceedings, the Government will issue you a Notice to Appear. The rules for cancellation of removal are very complex, and so it is essential that you work with a licensed and experienced immigration lawyer.

The lawyer on our staff who focuses on deportation cases, Guy Menahem, is fluent in Spanish (and also speaks Russian and French), and has over a decade of experience helping immigrants in the Immigration Courts.

Q:  I’m afraid to go back to my country of origin.  Can I apply for asylum?

Non-citizens who are physically present in the United States and are afraid to return to their country of origin can apply for ASYLUM in the United States. Asylum is a form of protection that the government gives to foreign nationals. The laws pertaining to asylum are very complex and you should definitely hire a licensed and experienced lawyer so that you can put the best case forward.

Guy Menahem, our deportation / asylum lawyer, has spent his entire legal career in the immigration field. Mr. Menahem has represented asylum seekers before the Asylum Office, the Immigration Court, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. He is fluent in Spanish, and conversant in Russian and French. He has represented asylum applicants from several Latin American and Caribbean countries, Russia, Central Asia, China, and West Africa. The types of cases Mr. Menahem has done have included political dissidents, those fleeing FGM, victims of civil war atrocities, LGBT individuals, victims of bride-kidnapping, and individuals who have converted religions.

One key point is that the law requires that you apply for asylum within one year of entry. If you had DACA, you’ve missed this deadline. But there are exceptions to the one-year rule. Call us to discuss further, because every case is unique. Also, there are forms of protection called “withholding of removal” and protection under Article III of the Convention against Torture (“CAT”) that do not require that you file within one year of entry. During a consultation with our office, we can discuss all of these options with you.

For DACA inquiries, please call our dedicated line:

(212) 643-0985

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