Deferred action for childhood arrivals
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, was established by the Obama administration in June 2012 in an attempt to give individuals who had entered or remained the United States unlawfully as minors a chance to continue participating in the American Dream. DACA not only granted these individuals deferred action from deportation for a renewable two-year period, it also qualified them to be eligible for a work permit so that they could be given a chance to continue pursuing the American Dream.
As we all know, the current Presidential Administration rescinded the DACA program in September 2017. However, on January 9, 2018, a United Stated District Court blocked the repeal and ordered the government to renew DACA until further order of the court. As of January 13, 2018, the United States Government stated that it would immediately resume adjudication of DACA renewal applications.
As is always the case with immigration policies, the renewal of DACA comes with many conditions and limitations that are difficult to navigate for anyone without a strong understanding of immigration law. Some of the requirements that must be met in order to qualify for the renewed DACA program are that each individual must have:
Come to the United States prior to his or her 16th birthday;
Lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007;
Been born on June 16, 1981 or later;
Been physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
Completed high school or received a GED, been honorably discharged from the armed forces, or be currently enrolled in school;
Had no felony or serious misdemeanor convictions, or more than 2 misdemeanors, and does not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
While meeting these requirements does not guarantee approval, USCIS recently announced that it would resume accepting requests to renew grants of deferred action under DACA, and that the DACA policy would operate on the terms in place before it was rescinded in September 2017. However, USCIS also announced that their present treatment of DACA applications would be subject to several restrictions, including a refusal to accept requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA.
Immigration policy in the United States is nuanced and in a state of constant change. Just like a patient should not trust their eye doctor to fix a broken bone, one's future should not be placed in the hands of a non-attorney notary or and attorney who only dabbles in immigration law. Instead, for those important decisions involving you or your loved ones, consult with an qualified attorney who is dedicated to the practice of immigration law.
Attorney Denisse C. Ilabaca has been an immigration lawyer her entire legal career. Using her years of experience handling complex immigration cases, she founded Ilabaca Law, PLLC with one ultimate purpose: Provide superior legal service to each of her clients by working together on their immigration journey every step of the way. Don't walk your journey alone. Speak with Attorney Denisse today and see where you stand on the road to home.