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President Obama took executive action on immigration reform on November 20, 2014. These actions involved significant changes to immigration policy here in the United States, and potentially will impact the lives of millions of undocumented workers and illegal immigrants facing deportation from the U.S. At the heart of these changes, an increased number of immigrants will be eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs.

Those looking to take advantage of changes to DACA can apply immediately. Specifically, if an individual arrives in the United States prior to their 16 th birthday, AND they’ve been here since 1/1/2010, that individual may increase DACA and work authorization from the current limit of two years to three years. This change has gone into effect immediately, so it’s best to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to determine what the next steps to take are if you feel as though you may benefit from this policy change.

For matters pertaining to DAPA, both adult parents and non-parents may qualify for a deferment in actions taken against them if they’ve been in the United States since 1/1/2010. At this time, individuals won’t be able to apply for the new DAPA benefits until May, UNLESS the individual is currently being detained and facing immediate deportation. In cases such as this, the benefits of the forthcoming DAPA changes may immediately be applied, meaning the deportation process can be halted. Put simply, if you’re currently facing deportation and you qualify under DAPA, you now have a good chance of stopping the deportation process.

Furthermore, the new DAPA changes will allow for employment authorization to be granted for three years. This authorization will be awarded pending a background check, but will allow for many individuals to lawfully work in the United States for the specified amount of time. Not only will this potentially help some undocumented workers find gainful employment, but it will also help families to be able to stay together thanks to increased potential economic stability.

In short, the new changes rolling out for both DACA and DAPA will help families stay together, it will prevent some individuals from being immediately deported, and will create a strengthened sense of hope for all immigrants looking to remain here in the U.S. on a permanent basis. At The Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C., attorney Michael Piston is staying apprised of all updates and changes being made to the immigration process, and is available to answer any questions you may have about your legal rights as an immigrant here in the U.S. For more information about how you and your family may be able to benefit from the new changes that were made to DACA and DAPA, don’t hesitate to contact the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles at (800) 792-9889.