New Jersey Immigration Attorney Edward Shulman, who is the founder of the Shulman Law Group, LLC in Paterson, New Jersey spoke to Passaic county residents last Saturday about the proposed DAPA program. Following his lecture, Attorney Shulman provided a Question and Answer period for the lecture participants about DAPA. Below are the highlights of Mr. Shulman's DAPA lecture, which he thought would be helpful for all clients and intending immigrants interested in learning more about DAPA.
Interestingly, the number one question that arose during Mr. Shulman's Immigration lecture on DAPA was whether or not a person with a criminal record would be eligible to apply for DAPA. Mr. Shulman highlighted the fact that not all crimes and criminal conduct would disqualify individuals from DAPA. However, he explained that parents of United States Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents would be essentially disqualified from DAPA if they fall under two of three immigration enforcement policies set forth under a Department of Homeland Security Memorandum called "Policies for the Apprehension, Detention, and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants." The first category, referred to as Priority One refers to individuals who have engaged in activities related to terrorism in which they pose a threat to national security, border security, and/or public safety. The second priority category refers to individuals who have conviction histories that consist of multiple offenses (e.g. repeat offenders with three or more misdemeanor offenses) and those with histories of more significant misdemeanors (e.g. sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking). Within this second category, as it relates to DAPA, Mr. Shulman also highlighted how aliens who have significantly abused immigration laws (e.g. abused the visa or visa waiver programs in the eyes of an ICE Field Office Director, USCIS District Director, or USCIS Service Center Director), raise questions about their eligibility for DAPA.
Importantly, Immigration Attorney Shulman explained that every case is different and that is it critically important that individuals with criminal histories make an appointment to discuss the particular nuances of their case. For example, he explained that a DAPA applicant who was arrested or even charged with a disqualifying crime like felony possession, but who was only convicted of some other, non-disqualifying crime, like misdemeanor controlled substance possession, might still be eligible for DAPA Executive Action benefits. Additionally, Attorney Shulman highlighted how immigration law does not consider most juvenile criminal adjudications to constitute a conviction for immigration purposes so if you have a juvenile record, the likelihood is that it will not render you ineligible for DAPA Executive Action benefits. Immigration Attorney Edward Shulman and his staff would be happy to schedule a consultation to discuss the nuances of DAPA, including how criminal histories may or may not render an individual eligible for DAPA. Likewise, Mr. Shulman is skilled in helping clients obtain documentation such as Psychological Reports and affidavits showing that individuals with criminal histories are not at risk for recidivism which may increase their odds of obtaining a fruitful DAPA ruling, should the Supreme Court allow DAPA to proceed as hoped.