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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Attorneys in Arizona and Colorado

If you, a family member, or someone close to you is facing an immigration problem, there is support available. At Castañeda Law, we assist clients with immigration issues, including applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Contact us to talk about your situation, and let us tell you how our attorneys can help. Your initial consultation is free.

What is the DACA Program?

The Department of Homeland Security announced in 2012 that some people who arrived in the United States when they were children could request consideration of deterred action. Basically, the program allows a person to remain in the country, while being protected against removal for two years, and during any renewal period. It would also make you eligible for work authorization.

Who is Eligible for DACA?

The eligibility requirements for DACA are that you:

  • Were under 31 years of age at the time the program commenced (June 15, 2012).

  • Arrived in the U.S. when you were under 16.

  • Resided in the U.S. continuously between June 15, 2007 and the time of your DACA request.

  • Did not have lawful status in the U.S. as of June 15, 2012.

  • Are a student, or a graduate, or hold a certificate of completion from high school or G.E.D., or were honorably discharged from the Armed Forces or the Coast Guard.

  • Have not been convicted of any felony, any “significant misdemeanor,” or three or more misdemeanors, and do not represent a threat to public safety or national security. A significant misdemeanor includes a number of offenses carrying a potential jail sentence of between 5 days and 1 year, such as domestic violence, burglary, sexual abuse, DUI or DWI, sale of or trafficking in drugs, and illegal possession or use of a firearm. Other misdemeanors may also be considered significant, depending upon the circumstances.

In addition to these requirements for eligibility, an applicant must be at least 15 years of age in order to request DACA. Finally, DACA is a “discretionary” act, and there is no guarantee that it will not be terminated at any time.

Requesting DACA for the First Time

The filing process for requesting DACA can be confusing, and involves a number of steps. The first step is to gather documents which you will have to submit to CIS. They will include proof of your identity, proof of your arrival date in the United States and that it was prior to your 16th birthday, proof of your current immigration status, proof that you were present in the U.S. as of June 15, 2012, proof of continuous residence in the U.S., and proof of student status or veteran status. The question of which particular documents are necessary in your case is something our attorneys will discuss with you when we meet.

You will also need to fill out two forms (I-821D and I-765), as well as a worksheet (I-765WS). If you submit a form that is not the current version, it will be rejected by CIS. Those forms must then be filed, along with the required fee. Under certain circumstances, there may be any exemption from paying the fee.

DACA Renewal

If you were already granted DACA, you will need to renew it prior to the expiration of the initial two-year period. It is suggested that you apply for the renewal between 4 and 5 months before the current term expires. If you do not file by that time, you increase your risk that the deferred action period will end prior to receiving a decision on your renewal request.

The application process for renewal requires new forms I-821D, I-765 and I-765 worksheet, to be completed and filed with CIS.

Do I Need a Lawyer for DACA?

There is no legal requirement that you hire an attorney to help with DACA. On the other hand, the entire program is fraught with pitfalls. Time periods are strictly enforcement, documentary evidence must be submitted and forms must be completed and filed precisely as required. Any mistake, even a minor one, could jeopardize not only your application, but also your status, and could have an impact on any removal proceeding now pending against you.

The attorneys at Castañeda Law know the details of the process. They can significantly increase the chances that your DACA request will be granted, and avoid many of the problems that might otherwise cause your request to be delayed or denied. They can also assist with the gathering of documents, filling out forms, and dealing with issues such as how to handle any prior criminal history.

If you think you may be eligible for DACA, or if you simply have questions about eligibility or the program itself, contact us at our offices in Phoenix or Denver, and schedule a free consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer.

Call (602) 251-3132 (Arizona) or (303) 386-7135 (Colorado)

  • Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt
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    Lyndon B. Johnson
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    Robert F. Kennedy
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