This is an immigration relief that can be used by those who are in deportation proceedings before an immigration judge as long as they meet some essential characteristics.

Terms:

  • Having been in the United States continuously for at least 10 years, by the time the deportation process begins.
  • Having parents, and/or spouse and/or children who are US citizens or permanent legal residents.
  • Have good moral conduct. (Clean criminal record and have filed the tax return)
  • Show that the deportation would cause extreme harm to their close family members.

The Government will take these factors into account when making its decision:

With these elements, the immigration judge would proceed to evaluate the evidentiary material and could grant the benefit of cancellation of the removal process and could grant the immigrant permanent residence in the United States.

However, it is also possible that some permanent residents who have been convicted of certain types of crimes may be eligible for a cancellation of removal case. In this case, the conditions would be: first, that they had been here as legal residents, continuously, for the past 7 years, and that they had not been arrested during the first 5 years of residence in the United States.

How to prove good behavior?

To this end, the applicant for cancellation of removal must demonstrate that he/she is a good citizen and that he/she can positively impact the community. This aspect is popularly known as showing that he/she is a person of “good moral character”. For this reason, the documents required as evidence of this requirement are: letters of support from friends, letters of recommendation from employers that testify to their good moral behavior, or from an institution where the applicant is linked due to his/her social support.

DACA

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was approved in June 2012 through an executive order from then-President Barack Obama, and grants those young people (dreamers) who came to the United States when they were children, a consideration of deferred action for a period of two years.

DACA does not grant permanent legal status, but it does allow people to apply for employment authorization and temporarily suspends deportation for Dreamers.

DACA has protected approximately 900,000 young immigrants from possible deportation. This program was under evaluation for a couple of years, but on Thursday, June 18, 2020, the United States Supreme Court ruled that DACA is upheld and returned the cases to the lower courts for further proceedings. This means that the Donald Trump administration cannot immediately proceed with its plan to end the program. His argument for the cancellation of DACA is that its creation was illegal through an executive order, which could be canceled at the discretion of the current president, Donald Trump.

Requirements to obtain DACA

  • Being born after 06/15/1981.
  • Having come to the US before reaching your 16th birthday.
  • Having continuously lived in the US from June 15, 2007 until the date you submit the application.
  • Not having had legal status on June 15, 2012.
  • Studying, graduating, or earning a high school or General Educational Development (GED) diploma. You also qualify if you are an honorably discharged veteran of the US Armed Forces or the Coast Guard.
  • Having no criminal record or having been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors. Also, not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Although you must be over 15 years old to apply, there is an exception to this requirement. If you are in deportation proceedings or have a voluntary departure order and are not detained, you can apply even if you are under 15 years old.

DACA renewal

  • These are the requirements for those who already have DACA approved and want to renew it:
    • Not having left the US without advance parole since August 15, 2012.
    • Having continuously lived in the US since the time you submitted the most recent approved DACA application.
    • Not having been convicted of felonies, significant misdemeanors, or more than three misdemeanors.

    One of the most important aspects of DACA renewal is when submitting the renewal application, so that you are not left without protection or employment authorization. USCIS recommends submitting a renewal application between 150 and 120 days prior to the expiration date of your Deferred Action and work permit.

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