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Should Texas Immigrants Apply for DACA or DAPA if They Have Already Applied for Other Relief

Gavel and U.S. FlagThis is the next post in our series discussing what undocumented Texas immigrants need to know about current reforms to the immigration process. Our last post discussed the DAPA program and explained who will be eligible. In this article we will discuss if you should apply for DACA or DAPA if you are eligible for other types of relief.

DACA and DAPA provide temporary relief but are not a permanent solution for undocumented immigrants

DACA is meant to provide temporary relief to immigrants who were brought to the country prior to their 16th birthday and who now live and work in the United States. This temporary relief comes in the form of a legal work permit. Under the expanded program these permits will be good for a three year period. At the end of the three years, USCIS has stated that it will be fairly easy to renew for another three years. However, this program is not a permanent solution. It does not provide the same protections as a green card and it is unlikely that a person will be able to live lawfully on DACA for the rest of their lives.

The DACA and DAPA programs are meant to be a last ditch effort when all other forms of relief have been exhausted. Those who apply for DACA should continue to pursue any other legal forms of relief that they may be eligible for. Domestic violence victims, persons who are eligible for asylum, persons who may be eligible for school visas, or those who are eligible for a relative sponsored visa should continue to pursue all avenues to permanent residency. The only way to have permanent stability in the United States is ultimately through a green card and eventually citizenship.

Though imperfect the DACA and DAPA program is better than continuing to live in Texas undocumented

The DACA and DAPA programs are far from perfect. They ultimately put a bandaid on a larger problem and delay action for a further time. With that said, if one is eligible for the program then it is probably still worth it to apply. The DACA and DAPA buy residents time to further their education and legally work. There are two possibilities that make DACA worthwhile during the period of time that an immigrant is able to legally work in the US. One, it gives the immigrant the opportunity to better themselves and perhaps create an opportunity in which they may be eligible for a green card. Two, it allows the immigrant to stay in the country with the hope that DACA and DAPA will only be the beginning of more widespread immigration reform laws. While the political future of immigration reform is far from certain, the DACA and DAPA can buy those who are eligible more time and can relieve the fear of deportation. And for that reason, if one is eligible and cannot apply for any other type of relief then it will be worth applying. For more information contact our Austin, Texas immigration attorneys and set up a consultation to further discuss your application.

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