The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is an executive action announced on June 15, 2012 by President Obama that allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. at a young age, to apply for a 2-year work permit and remain in the U.S. without the fear of deportation.
Disclaimer for DACA Initial applicants
The future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program remains unclear due to the new administrations threats to terminate it. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to process applications for both initial and renewal applicants until further notice from the next administration.
The process for initial applicants takes several months, and it is unlikely that you will receive a decision before January 20th, which carries the risk that the DACA program might not exist. The decision to pursue an initial application may result in no benefit and exposure to the Department of Homeland Security; ultimately the decision to apply can only be made by the applicant.
BENEFITS OF DACA
- Protection from deportation for 2 years
- Work authorization for 2 years
- Renewable every 2 years, as long as the program continues and you remain eligible
- Ability to apply for a Social Security Number
- Ability to apply for a California Driver’s License and/or ID
- Ability to apply for “Advance Parole”, which allows you to travel outside of the U.S.
***DACA does not provide permanent lawful status or a path to citizenship***
YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR DACA IF YOU…
- Were born after June 15, 1981;
- Came to the U.S. before your 16th birthday;
- Were in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
- You were without a legal immigration status as of June 15, 2012;
- Have been living continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007;
- You are currently in school, graduated high school, 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
- You have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
If you need help determining if you meet the requirements, give us a call (619-363-3423) or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) remember, you are not alone, we are here to help!
GET HELP APPLYING FOR DACA
Come to one of our community events to receive free legal assistance or get in touch with one of the trusted legal service agencies or immigration attorneys in our network. Help is available, so do not wait any longer and apply today!
THE FUTURE OF DACA
Trump has said that he will end the DACA Program when he takes the White House, however, Trump will not be president until January 20, 2017. Until that date, DACA remains in place and USCIS will continue to process applications for initial applicants and renewals.
At the moment, there is NOTHING confirmed. Those who have received or applied for DACA, will not necessarily be targets for deportation. In the past, administrative programs like DACA have never been used as a base for a deportation program.
For people who have not yet requested DACA, the process takes several months, which is why, if you have not yet requested it, it is highly likely that you will not receive a decision before January 20, 2017 – and it is probable that the program might not exist.
Therefore, at this point potential applicants’ efforts to assemble an initial DACA application and pay the filing fees (which go up in December 2016) may result in no benefit and expose them to DHS.
OTHER FORMS OF IMMIGRATION RELIEF
It is important to understand your legal options. You should consult with immigration attorneys or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited representatives to consider legal options and find out if you qualify for any other immigration benefit.
• Victims of violent crimes (U Visa)
• Victims of domestic violence (“VAWA”)
• Special immigrant juvenile status (“SIJS”)
• Adjustment of Status