Explanation of the DACA Process:
DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which is an immigration policy in the United States that was implemented in 2012 by the Obama administration. The program allows certain undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, often referred to as "Dreamers," to request deferred action from deportation and obtain work permits for a renewable two-year period.
To be eligible for DACA, individuals must meet the following criteria:
- Arrival in the U.S.: They must have arrived in the United States before the age of 16.
- Continuous Residence: They must have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
- Age Requirement: They should have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012 (when DACA was announced).
- Educational or Military Service: They must be enrolled in school, have graduated from high school, obtained a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
- No Significant Criminal Record: They should not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or multiple misdemeanors.
Applicants for DACA must submit extensive documentation to establish their eligibility and undergo a thorough background check. If approved, they are granted deferred action, which means that they will not be deported during the designated period and can also obtain work authorization. The deferred action and work authorization are renewable every two years.
Current Status of DACA in the United States:
As of my last update in September 2021, the DACA program was facing several legal challenges. In 2017, the Trump administration sought to terminate DACA, arguing that it was an overreach of executive authority. This led to a series of lawsuits that made their way through the courts, resulting in a number of conflicting rulings.
In June 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of DACA in the case of "Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California." The court's decision blocked the Trump administration's attempt to end DACA, stating that the termination was done in an "arbitrary and capricious" manner. As a result, DACA was preserved, and renewals of the program resumed.
Expectations for DACA in the Future:
As with any immigration policy, the future of DACA largely depends on the political landscape and any potential legislative actions. There have been ongoing discussions and debates in Congress about passing comprehensive immigration reform, which might include provisions for the legalization of Dreamers and possibly more permanent solutions for DACA recipients.
It's important to keep in mind that the situation surrounding immigration policies can be complex and subject to change. The stance of different administrations, court decisions, and political considerations all play significant roles in determining the fate of DACA. To stay informed about the latest developments and the current status of DACA, it is best to consult reliable and up-to-date sources, as the situation can evolve rapidly.
Contact The Trevino Law Firm, PLLC today either by using the online form or calling us at 210.227.3200 in order to determine if DACA is something you may benefit from.