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The Benefits of Clearing Your Record

Deportation becomes highly likely with a criminal record and programs, namely DACA, become near unachievable.


As we observe an influx of DACA applications being filed in the past few years, it is inevitable that among success stories, many applicants are also denied. However, there is one crucial way to avoid a potential deportation: clearing your criminal record. The statistics support this and through record clearing, progress is attainable.


The Effects of a Criminal Record


Misdemeanors and acts of felony, all result in marks on one’s record. For immigrants, a single mark can be devastating to any attempt at citizenship or better conditions in general such as establishing a life within a community. Deportation becomes highly likely with a criminal record and programs, namely DACA, become near unachievable. The hard data in the following passage reinforces this notion.


The Statistics


The claim that clearing one’s record leads to a greater chance of DACA acceptance is supported by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services itself. The USCIS has gathered data on the total number of people who applied to the DACA program and the percentage of those applicants who were ultimately accepted or rejected. From the period of 2012 to 2018, there have been 888,765 applicants. 770,628 individuals ultimately were approved, but out of those 770,628, only 59,786 people were approved with an arrest on record. To emphasize this bad news even further, out of the 66,863 people rejected, 20,993 of that group had an arrest. Based on both of these grim pieces of data, it is clear that without having a record cleared, the chances of success decline exponentially.


A clearer picture can be painted if we correlate the number of arrests to the percentage of DACA requestors being approved into the program. With 0 arrests, 710,842 out of 797,297 applicants make it through. With 1 arrest, 42,707 out of 60,286 individuals are approved and with 2+ arrests, 17,079 out of 31,182 applicants are approved. Based on the pattern given here, the more arrests there are, the more the acceptance rate will decrease.


"To obtain relief, it is necessary to file a motion to vacate, essentially overturning a previous ruling, or motion to modify your specific case." – Shan Potts, Attorney & Founder

What This Means For You


If you are a prospective DACA applicant with any sort of marks on your record, it is imperative that you get your record cleared. These marks are the result of any sort of breach of laws, however with their associated consequences heightened for immigrants out of all people.

Different types of crimes provide hard evidence of the type of result that might be played out. As we mentioned before, out of the total number of DACA requesters approved—that being 770,628—only 59,786 individuals were approved with an arrest under their belt. Of those 59,786, 20,926 of people have a driving-related offense, excluding a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge. Other relevant crimes can be found in the data compiled by the USCIS. 816 of the 59,786 are charged with domestic violence crimes, 11,861 are linked to immigration-related issues such as civil offenses, 2,378 are due to a DUI, etc. But just because you might have found yourself with any of the aforementioned crimes on your record, does not mean that it is the end of the world. As a matter of fact, these statistics can be a silver lining because now that you understand that many individuals can succeed with marks related to incidents such as driving offenses, you do not have to blindly face consequences such as DACA rejection. Of course, seeking help is a must.


How to Obtain Relief?


To obtain relief, it is necessary to file a motion to vacate, essentially overturning a previous ruling, or motion to modify your specific case. For instance, that previous ruling that denied your DACA application on the fact that you had a DUI charge can be overturned after clearing the record and motioning to vacate. Many law firms can provide you with these services, and it is advised that you seek these services so that any unaddressed errors will not negatively impact any DACA or other immigration services that you will be undergoing. With legal services such as that of Shan Potts Law Offices, working with an attorney to polish your application can create the success story that you are striving for.

Contact us at 323-803-7147 if you or someone you know requires legal assistance.

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