DACA stands for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It is a policy that was established as an executive action by then-President Barack Obama in 2012 in response to a failure by the United States House of Representatives and Senate to pass meaningful legislation for certain immigrants that were brought to the United States as children. In 2017 President Donald Trump announced a phase-out of DACA, which has since been the subject of a great deal of conversation and legal activity.

There are approximately 800,000 people who have signed up for the program. DACA recipients are frequently known as DREAMers because of the relationship between the executive policy and the DREAM Act, a law that was first proposed in 2001. Had it passed, the DREAM Act would have permitted illegal immigrants brought into the country as children to attend college and have a path to citizenship. DACA does not provide a path to citizenship: instead, it offers a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation, as well as eligibility for a work permit.

To qualify for DACA, an individual must have entered the United States before June 2007 and must have been under the age of 16 at the time. Other requirements include:

  • Continuously living in the United States since their arrival
  • Being physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 with no lawful status, as well as when they applied for DACA consideration
  • Being a high school graduate, or having a GED, or enrolled in school, or honorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces
  • No conviction of either a felony or serious misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors
  • Not posing a threat to public safety or national security

Eligible candidates who wish to apply for DACA need to submit three forms as well as other documentation to support their qualification, and once approved they need to apply for renewal before their DACA status expires.

Those who have been approved for DACA status face a high degree of uncertainty in the face of recent political developments. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that can be taken to provide you with a greater sense of security and control. Contact the attorneys at the Law Office of Jensen Bagnato, P.C. today at (215)398-4185.