The first step in understanding President Obama’s DAPA Executive Order is to first know what it means. DAPA stands for Deferred Action for Parental Accountability. This part of the president’s executive order regarding immigration has received a lot of attention and for good reason. It is monumental simply because it may prevent millions of immigrants from being deported.

The four top things you and your family should know about DAPA are:

Parents Are Protected from Deportation

This order, in summary, is for citizens or green card holder’s parents to be protected from deportation. Eligibility begins with proving they have been living in the U.S. consistently for five years – each person applying must have resided in the U.S. since January 1, 2010.

If you or a member of your family came into the U. S. after January 1, 2010, you are not eligible for DAPA. Additionally, you or your family member has to have a child born on or before November 20, 2014. If your child, or your family member’s child, was born on or after November 21, 2014, then you are not able to apply for DAPA. In addition, parents of DACA recipients do not qualify for DAPA.

Felons Are Most Certainly Not Safe

The DAPA action will likely not be accessible to people who have been charged with a felony. The president even mentioned such circumstances in his speech, stating he was about deporting “felons, not families.” Therefore, like much of the immigration law process, those seeking qualification will need to pass a background check. Those with a felony record will be deported.

Please note: It is not currently a felony to be living in the U.S. illegally.

Becoming a U.S. Citizen or Receiving a Green Card is Not a Given

It’s important to understand that DAPA will not grant amnesty or sudden everlasting residential standing in the United States. As President Obama stated in his speech, “only Congress” can grant this with legislation.

Changes Aren’t All At Once and They May Not Even Last

The USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) has let it be known that the implementation made by President Obama will not go into effect until later this year. It is projected that the DAPA applications ought to begin being accepted in late May. It should also be noted that DAPA was formed by President Obama at his own discretion. This means, after President Obama steps down from his position as president, the United States’ next president very well could choose to change DAPA or even discontinue the program completely.

It’s important to note that none of President Obama’s DAPA changes have been instituted at this point. Unfortunately, scammers are utilizing the opportunity to take advantage of those not understanding how the process works, offering services for applications now, not when the time is right. This has great potential to hurt you, your family, and your dreams.

That being said, President Obama’s DAPA Executive Order has promise and being prepared is never a bad idea. There is still time to get your ducks in a row by asking the right questions and knowing exactly what you need to, so you can have the best chance of success in applying for the DAPA program. For a complementary, confidential consultation regarding the DAPA Executive Order, call the Lee Law Firm at (404) 892-8300.