Many undocumented Florida immigrants are waiting on pins and needles for word as to whether the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be discarded. It helps anyone eligible to secure an adjustment of status to avoid deportation and obtain permission to live and work in the United States. Once approved, the protected status is typically good for two years, at which time renewal must be sought.
Immigrants in South Florida say they’re extremely fearful that within the near future, the DACA program may be cut. A 26-year-old psychology major at Florida International University said she’s worried that everything she has worked so hard to accomplish in her life will soon be lost if the decision to keep or eliminate the program does not go her way. A highly contentious political debate surrounds the issue that includes at least 10 states accusing the current presidential administration of abusing its power.
Approximately 50,000 undocumented immigrants in Florida, who were brought to the United States as children and basically have no recollection for their countries of origin, are at grave risk for deportation if the DACA program ends. They are among well over half a million others who are also likely to become subject to immediate removal from the United States if DACA no longer exists. This situation has prompted many immigrants to go in search of legal help.
A Florida immigration and naturalization law attorney may be able to assist an undocumented immigrant with concerns regarding a particular DACA-related situation. A first logical step to take to discuss adjustment of status or related issues would be to request a meeting with an experienced immigration attorney. From there, any and all available options to resolve the problem could be explored.
Source: Miami Herald, “South Florida immigrants face possible end of DACA protection“, Glenn Garvin, Brenda Medina, Alex Harris, Aug. 29, 2017