Immigration For Good

Summary of Deferred Action for Parental Accountability and Expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

On November 20th, 2014, President Barack Obama announced that, among other legal reforms, the Department of Homeland Security will expand the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and will also create a new Deferred Action program for Parents of United States Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents.

At this time there are no applications available. Neighborhood Centers Inc. will provide community members with up-to-date information on how to receive help with your application. Sign up here to receive information updates regarding these policy changes. Please contact our Immigration Program at (713) 273-3707 or or go to

Who Qualifies for the new Deferred Action programs?

There are specific requirements that must be met for each type of Deferred Action:

Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA)

  • Parent of a United States Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident born on or before November 20, 2014
  • Continuously resided in the United States since January 1, 2010 and present in the United States on November 20, 2014 as well as at the time of submitting an application
  • Certain criminal and public/national safety bars will apply.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) (expanded):

  • Entered the United States before your 16th birthday
  • Continuously resided in the United States since January 1, 2010
  • Currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or the Armed Forces of the United States
  • Has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to United States security or public safety

**Note: There is no longer an age limitation for DACA.**

Disclaimer: This information does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been created or implied. Please consult with an attorney before applying for any immigration benefit or seeking any kind of legal assistance.


What Is Deferred Action?

Deferred Action is administrative relief from deportation. It also grants you the ability to apply for Employment Authorization for the length of Deferred Action if you can show economic necessity.

What Deferred Action Is Not:

Deferred Action is not amnesty; not immunity; not permanent legal status; and not a pathway to citizenship. Deferred Action is not a permanent protection – it can be revoked at any time.

When Can Individuals Apply?

These programs have not yet been implemented, and U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services is not accepting requests or applications for Deferred Action for Parental Accountability or the expanded version of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Applications for the new DAPA program will be accepted starting May 19, 2015. Applications for the expanded DACA program will be accepted starting February 18, 2015.

How Neighborhood Centers Plans to Help

More than 150,000 Houston residents are estimated to potentially qualify for relief under these new programs. Neighborhood Centers’ Immigration & Citizenship Program will provide community members with accurate and current information regarding the application process as soon as any information is available. Once the application process begins, Neighborhood Centers staff and attorneys will be providing application assistance for community members who qualify.

How Will These Changes Affect Houston?

These changes to immigration policy do not only simply affect the immigrant community in Houston; they will also have an important impact on the broader Houston community. At Neighborhood Centers, we believe that immigrants make up a critical part of the cultural fabric of society in the Houston area, and that these individuals have played a critical role in Houston’s dynamic pace and welcoming nature to all new arrivals from other cities, states, and countries.

In addition to the cultural and societal impact, we also recognize the economic impact that immigrants have. Houston’s vibrant economy is a result of a combination of factors, one of which is the diversity of our population and the constant influx of new arrivals, many of whom come from abroad, who are eager to contribute to the local economy.

Neighborhood Centers conducted a preliminary analysis to estimate the potential impact of President Obama’s Executive Action to establish DAPA and expand DACA. The following is a summary of this analysis, which is based on assumptions developed from various data sources:

  • Houston residents eligible for DACA and DAPA could experience an aggregate income increase of more than $90 million per year
  • This aggregate increase in income could lead to the creation of nearly 1,100 new jobs in the Houston area in the next five years
  • Total tax revenues—including increased revenues from property and sales and use taxes—could increase by more than $35 million over the next five years

In addition to the economic benefits, we expect significant increases in community engagement on the part of individuals who obtain documented status, a benefit that could lead to more enriched and engaged communities across the Houston area.

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