Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) prevents non-citizens from being subject to harsh immigration consequences such as deportation. The purpose of the program is to protect those individuals who have been here since their youth and who can contribute to American society. However, what happens if you have been convicted of a crime? Are you still eligible and can you still maintain your DACA status?
According to the rules, you are eligible for DACA if you have not been convicted of any felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, or otherwise do not pose a threat to national security or public safety. In New York and Connecticut, the definition of a felony and the definition of a misdemeanor are clearly spelled out. Traffic offenses are generally not included. Whether or not you pose a threat to national or public security or safety is a catchall term subject to the discretion of USCIS.
The term “significant misdemeanor” is nowhere to be found in the federal or state laws. Generally, according to the USCIS guidelines, a significant misdemeanor encompasses the following crimes:
-sexual abuse or exploitation
-unlawful possession or use of a firearm
-drug distribution or trafficking, or
-driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI or DWI)
Remember, even if you have been convicted of one of these crimes, you can still be eligible for DACA. Ultimately, how your criminal history impacts your eligibility must be addressed by.a skilled criminal and immigration attorney. You should not confront the complex legal system without expert guidance. If you have questions or concerns regarding your criminal history, you need to contact the Law Office of Yifei He, P.C. We provide nuts to bolts service for you and your immigration needs.