Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents – or DAPA for short – was an Obama Administration plan to help qualifying illegal immigrants avoid immediate removal and find a chance to apply for residency. From the moment it was conceived, it has been in the midst of heavy controversy, with opposition coming from multiple sides. DAPA never actually came to fruition, having been snared by a deadlocked Supreme Court ruling in the summer of 2016.
Why is it the center of so much controversy? How many people would DAPA actually benefit, and how many would experience a detriment because of it? To get an idea of the impact, we must first know who would be eligible for it.
Persons eligible under DAPA will meet these requirements:
- Lived in the United States since January 1st, 2010 and did not leave.
- Lived within the country when applying for DAPA.
- Was not a lawful immigrant when DAPA was announced (11/20/2014).
- Have had a child with citizen or resident status since 11/20/2014.
- Have no felonies or high-level misdemeanors on criminal record.
With these requirements in mind, it was initially estimated that around 3.6 million undocumented immigrants would benefit from the DAPA program, if it was ever enacted. Other estimations – including one from Trump’s administration – have increased that number to around 5 million. The true number of people who would benefit from DAPA needs to also consider the families of the eligible parents. When this is factored in, the number could be much higher, around 10 million by some guesses.
DAPA also seeks to address financial disparities between families of lawful permanent residents and those who would have been eligible for the program. On average, potential-DAPA households make $12,000 less each year than a home of lawful permanent residents and $16,000 less than a home that includes at least one parent born in the United States. Through DAPA, those families would likely see wage increases through obtaining official employment, which would also arguably counter the argument that illegal immigrants are “stealing” jobs.
As it currently stands, it is difficult to tell just how many people would benefit from DAPA. With the Trump administration’s promises to clear it off the table and repeal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), it seems likely that it will never be approved. Immigrants looking to enter or stay in the country should start exploring other options now.
You can call (844) 299-5003 to speak with Akula & Associates, P.C. and our Dallas immigration law attorneys today. We focus entirely on immigration cases, ranging from family immigration to global business immigration cases, and have built a reputation for being considerate and professional to all clients. We invite you to contact us at your first opportunity to get to know more about our team and our services.