To apply for DAPA, you need to prove parenthood

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The Supreme Court will deliver its opinion on President Obama’s executive action for immigrants by the end of June. The court usually delivers its opinions on Mondays, but sometimes announces in advance that it will deliver them on Thursday. Typically the decisions are read at around 10 a.m.

Over the last four weeks, I have offered tips on how to get ready for a favorable decision by the Court. While I am able to give detailed instructions for those who might qualify for the expanded DACA+ program, we don’t know as much about the Deferred Action for Parental Responsibility (DAPA) requirements.

We do know that there are a number of things that the applicant for this program will have to prove. First you must prove that your son or daughter is a lawful permanent resident (LPR) or a U.S. citizen. The son or daughter’s green card or naturalization papers (citizenship papers) or U.S. birth certificate will be needed. Obviously, if you are the parent of a LPR, you will have to ask him or her for a copy of their green card.

Next you need to prove that you are the parent. If you are the LPR or U.S. citizen’s mother, you need the birth certificate showing you as the mother. For men, things are a little more complicated. You need the birth certificate showing you as the father, plus a marriage certificate showing you are married to the mother of the U.S. citizen or LPR son or daughter, with the marriage having taken place before the child’s birth or before the child turned 21 (and before Nov. 20, 2014).

If you never married the child’s mother you will need proof that you had a parent-child relation before the child turned 21. This could be evidence that the son or daughter lived with you or that you provided financial support or other evidence of a father-child relationship. If you are not on the birth certificate, you should speak to a lawyer to find out how you can prove a parental relationship.

There are also ways for adoptive and stepparents to be considered parents for the purposes of this program. You should consult with an attorney to learn all of the requirements.

Finally, I want to warn you that if the Supreme Court issues a favorable decision there will be many rip-off artists waiting to take advantage of you. Do not go to “notaries,” they are not lawyers and they often take advantage of immigrants. Get the information that you need from non-profit organizations like CARECEN, Catholic Charities, and Make the Road New York.


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