Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Almost 800,000 young undocumented immigrants, who were brought to the U.S.by their parents as children, and have lived here since at least 2007 were eligible to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), where they qualified for temporary protection from deportation, and also were eligible for legal employment authorization for a renewable period of two years, a social security number, state issued IDs and driver licences.  DACA does not grant lawful immigration status such as a visa or green card, nor does it offer a pathway to U.S.citizenship.

Deferred action is discretionary on the part of the USCIS to defer removal action of an individual.  An individual may be considered for DACA if he or she (a) Was under 31 years old as of June 15, 2002; (b) Came to the U.S. before his or her 16th.birthday; (c) Has continuously resided in the U.S.since June 15, 2007; (d) Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012; (e) Is currently enrolled in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from a high school, has obtained a general educational development certificate (GED), or is an honorably discharged veteran of the US Armed Forces; (f) Has not been convicted of a felony, a serious misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and does not pose a threat to national security or public safety; (g) Has never been in removal proceedings, or if the removal proceedings were terminated by the immigration court or administratively closed.

Prior to July 2020, DACA was granted for a two year period which recipients could renew. Presently, the program remains available only to individuals who have previously been granted DACA.  It can now be renewed for a one year period only.  Now, new applications for individuals who have not previously been granted DACA  are no longer accepted by the USCIS, however this restrictive policy may change under the Biden administration to allow for new applications to be submitted.