On June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would not deport certain undocumented youth who came to the United States as children. Under a directive from the secretary of DHS, these youth may be granted a type of temporary permission to stay in the U.S. called "deferred action." The Obama administration called this program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.
In September 2017, the Trump administration moved to terminate DACA, making good on a 2016 campaign promise in which he called the program an illegal executive amnesty. The DACA program was ended by a memorandum issued by the acting secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf.
On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed a Presidential Proclamation reinstating DACA. Thus, those foreign nationals who entered the U.S. prior to their 16th birthday, have lived continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and who meet all the other DACA requirements are permitted to file first-time DACA applications and have them accepted and adjudicated by USCIS.
Currently, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is accepting applications both from people who were previously granted DACA and now want to renew it and from people applying for DACA for the first time under the pre-expansion guidelines. You must meet certain requirements to apply for DACA. You should speak with a qualified immigration lawyer for legal advice about your case.
- Have come to the U.S. before turning 16
- Have lived only in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, up to the present
- Were under the age of 31 and undocumented on June 15, 2012
- Be in school, have finished high school, have your GED, or have been honorably discharged from the armed forces of the U.S.
- Have not been convicted of certain crimes
- Have been in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and when you apply for DACA
If your application for DACA is approved, you:
- Will get DACA and a work permit that is valid for a period of two years. Under the program's guidelines, you will be able to apply to renew both your DACA and your work permit.
- Are protected against deportation while you have DACA status.
- The government can take away your DACA status at any time if you commit a serious crime or leave the country without permission.
- You can apply for permission to travel outside the United States, called "Advance Parole."
- Permission to obtain a Social Security number, which is helpful in obtaining a California driver's license.
- You are eligible for in-state tuition at a college or university.
At Geoffrey J Bosmans, APC, our experienced Los Angeles DACA lawyer can help determine if you are eligible for DACA and guide you through the process. For questions about DACA or other immigration matters, call or contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.