On December 7, 2020, the Trump administration was ordered to restore DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and begin accepting new applications. This Obama-era initiative provided protection for undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children. The judge ordered DHS to restore its previous practice of granting and extending DACA status for two years at a time. This is a major victory for the more than 640,000 current DACA recipients and the estimated 300,000 young adult and teenage immigrants who may be eligible for the program.
Under this order from a United States District Court, DACA applications are now being accepted again. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is accepting first-time requests for consideration based on the DACA policy that was in effect prior to its rescission on September 5, 2017. USCIS is also accepting DACA renewal requests and applications for advance parole documents. There is also an extension from one-year grants of deferred action to two years as well as an extension for employment authorization from one year to two years.
Advance parole (AP) is a significant element of the DACA program that is frequently overlooked, but it allows an individual who is in the United States without lawful immigration status, to travel internationally and return to the US and resume their protections from deportation under DACA. AP allows DACA recipients to travel back to their home countries to visit family, engage in educational pursuits, or a litany of other purposes. Further, AP can cure an unlawful entry into the United States and make a DACA recipient eligible for permanent residency.
Applying for the DACA Program
To be eligible for DACA an applicant must meet the following criteria:
- Under age 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and at the time of your request;
- Came to the United States prior to turning 16 years old;
- Continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 to the present;
- Individual had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
- Currently in school, graduated, or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, obtained a GED, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.
- Have not been convicted of a significant misdemeanor, felony, or three or more misdemeanors, and does not pose a threat to public safety or national security.
To see the full list of considerations, visit the USCIS website.
History of DACA
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, was created by the Obama administration in 2012. Since its creation, it has protected over 800,000 young individuals, commonly referred to as “dreamers.” Deferred action means to postpone removal action or deportation of an individual who has entered the United States without lawful immigration status. This gives individuals the ability to stay in the United States lawfully and authorizes them to become employed. With DACA in place, young adults and teenagers will once again have the protection they need and deserve.
Looking for an Immigration Attorney?
If you or a loved one has questions about the DACA restoration, is seeking to apply for DACA for the first time, or needing to renew a DACA application, Novo Legal has a team of experienced immigration attorneys that are ready to assist. Novo Legal specializes in immigration law and works hard to keep families together and give immigrants the support they need. Schedule a consultation to speak with one of our attorneys or call 303-335-0250.