What is DACA? (Consideration for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)

***** SEPTEMBER 5, 2017 UPDATE *****

On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced the end to the Deferred Action
for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Specifically, the Acting Secretary of Homeland
Security rescinded the 2012 memorandum creating DACA and stated that as of September 5,
2017, the government will no longer process any new DACA applications. Individuals who
currently have DACA will be permitted to retain their status until the current expiration date
listed on the Employment Authorization Document (EAD). DACA recipients whose EADs
expires before March 5, 2018 will be permitted to apply for renewal, but the renewal
application must be filed before October 5, 2017. DACA recipients with an EAD that expires
after March 5, 2018, will not be permitted to renew their status. At this point, we understand
the announcement to mean that after March 5, 2018, when DACA recipients’ EAD expires,
they will return to whatever unauthorized status they possessed at the time they acquired
DACA.

***** The following lists DACA requirements prior to the rescission on September 5 2017 *****

The “Dream Act” (providing an avenue for immigration legalization to youths who came to the United States undocumented, as minors, usually with their parents) was never signed into law.  However, there is still some relief to these youths.  You may qualify for Consideration for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (a discretionary benefit) or “DACA,” if you:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012 (i.e., you have not had your 31st birthday as of June 15, 2012);
  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor,or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

If you are approved for DACA, you are legally permitted to remain in the U.S., and you may be granted work authorization. It is not immigrant status, and you will not get a green card just based on being a DACA recipient.  It will, however, enable you to seek the best employment options available to you, openly and legally.

If you believe that you may be eligible for DACA, please call our office and to discuss your questions with Alison Yew. Complete this appointment form to schedule a consultation.