President Obama’s recent Executive Action on Immigration has provided immigrants with some temporary relief. One of these actions expands the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that was initiated in 2012. DACA covers people who were brought to the US before age 16. Another category will give parents of US citizens or lawful permanent residents the opportunity to defer their deportation for three years and receive work authorization. This is known as DAPA, which stands for Deferred Action on Parental Accountability (DAPA). Applications for the expanded DACA will not be accepted until probably February and DAPA applicants will probably have to wait until May at the earliest. These actions will offer some temporary relief and keep families together.
Both categories of Deferred Action permit an individual to remain in the United States temporarily but do not provide a path to permanent residence or citizenship. Because these recent actions, while welcome, do not fix our country’s currently deficient immigration system, the US bishops will continue to urge Congress to pass comprehensive reform legislation.
The below linked documents may help our immigrant brothers and sisters in navigating the options provided by the president’s executive action.