Helping low-income, Spanish-speaking immigrants acquire the tools they need to thrive.

Canal Alliance Urges Immigrant Community to Prepare for Expanded DACA and DAPA Opportunities

Expanded DACA and DAPA Opportunities

On February 16, 2015, a federal district court blocked implementation of President Obama’s initiative to expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), under which certain immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children can apply for protection from deportation and work authorization. The court also blocked implementation of a second initiative that would allow certain immigrant parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to apply for protection from deportation and work authorization (known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA.)

Tom Wilson, Executive Director of Canal Alliance, an established nonprofit that has been serving the Latino immigrant community for more than three decades, feels confident there will be a positive outcome and wants immigrants to be informed. “There has been some confusion in the immigrant community. To clarify, the original DACA opportunity that began in 2012 is not on hold, so people can continue to apply. Regarding the new DACA and DAPA opportunities, we want people to remain hopeful and to be as prepared as possible to act once the injunction is lifted.” Wilson also cautioned immigrants not to fall prey to scams offering application assistance with these new forms of relief. “We anticipate it will be several months before the court rules on the new DACA/DAPA opportunities so there is currently no application process available.” For now, he recommends the following to immigrants who believe they qualify for expanded DACA and DAPA:

1. Attend a community information session to learn about the case, and to learn about the best ways to prepare for the new programs. Those interested in attending an information session can register here.
2. Have an unexpired passport from your country of origin.
3. Collect documentation showing that you have been in the United States since January 1, 2010 – try to get a document for every month since that time. You can use bills, receipts for payment of rent, bank statements, pay stubs, or any other document that has your name on it.
4. Obtain certified copies of your children’s U.S. birth certificates, if you are going to apply for DAPA.
5. Obtain copies of your U.S. school records, if you are going to apply for DACA.
6.  Apply for a California driver’s license.

For further information, contact Tom Wilson