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DAPA case currently being considered by U.S. Supreme Court

There are circumstances in Florida, such as a child acquiring U.S. citizenship at birth, that could result in a minor’s legal residence in the country even when a parent does not have the appropriate documentation. If this occurs, the inability of a mother or father to acquire a visa may make it impossible to find lawful employment in order to support the child. It could even result in deportation, which would leave a child who is a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen without parental care.

The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents is a program created by President Obama that would allow these parents to work and live in the United States without fear of deportation. To meet the criteria, an undocumented immigrant must not have a criminal record, and must have entered the country before 2011.

The program was blocked by a lawsuit claiming that Obama does not have the authority to put this plan into action, and now arguments are being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court justices, with the decision to come before July 1. Although a tie vote between the eight justices would result in the program’s end, there is also the possibility that only some of DAPA’s components would be approved.

Parents and children with different legal statuses may face a devastating separation unless they are able to successfully acquire documentation that allows them to live and work in the country legally. An immigration attorney may be able to provide assistance to families who require documentation in order to remain together.

Source: Reuters, “U.S. top court appears unlikely to revive Obama immigration plan,” Lawrence Hurley, Apr. 19, 2016

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