Undocumented immigrant parents must have proven continuous residency in the U.S. since before Jan. 1, 2010, and must pass a background check.
“Start building relationships with lawyers now,” Arteaga said, repeating that an immigration lawyer was the best source to confirm eligibility for DAPA.
She also urged parents not to let U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials into their homes unless they present a search warrant with the correct name.
“I have more information to defend myself now,” Chapel Hill resident Alberto Calderon said. “ICE needs to have a search warrant to enter a home. I didn’t know that before.”
Calderon first heard of DAPA at the meeting, a program he could qualify for since his two youngest children were born in the U.S.
Jenice Ramirez, executive director of the language program, said this meeting was necessary because there are few immigration resources in the community for undocumented families.
“Many are afraid to ask questions,” Ramirez said. “We wanted to have a space for the community to come forward to ask questions. What happens here, stays here.”
Last year, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans blocked the implementation of DAPA and expansion of DACA.
The Supreme Court will decide the constitutionality of Obama’s immigration executive actions this June. If the Supreme Court reverses the lower court’s decision, more than 3.9 million undocumented immigrants could be granted relief from deportation and work legally in the U.S.
Next month, the language program will host a discussion with an immigration lawyer, which will be open to the public.