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Immigrant advocacy groups optimistic about DAPA

Many undocumented immigrants in South Carolina will be protected from deportation if the Obama Administration's immigration reform programs are allowed to proceed. However, plans to implement Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, have been suspended since a federal judge issued an injunction in February.

Despite the injunction, several immigrant advocacy groups are continuing with their efforts to educate immigrants on DAPA. Community groups like CASA in Maryland are helping immigrants who would qualify for DAPA to gather the required documents for an application. The senior director of human services at CASA said that his group is helping immigrants to prepare their DAPA applications because they believe the injunction on DAPA will be lifted.

Although advocacy groups are continuing to prepare for DAPA, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has suspended the preparations it was making for DAPA. Plans to lease a 280,000 square-foot building and train 1,000 new employees to process DAPA applications were halted as a result of the injunction. According to reports, DAPA fees would have funded the $26 million in start-up costs that was needed for the DAPA building.

A person who would qualify for deportation relief under DAPA might want to talk to an immigration attorney about what actions they should take right now. An attorney may be able to help an immigrant to prepare their DAPA application so that it is ready in case the injunction is lifted. At the same time, an attorney may be able to help an individual to investigate other immigration opportunities that may be available right now.

Source: International Business Times, "Work On Obama's Immigration Reform Programs Halted After Legal Setbacks: Report," Sneha Shankar, June 8, 2015

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