Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
With little hope of immediate passage of the Dream Act to provide relief, the Administration has taken significant action to protect individuals who came to the United States as children. On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children who meet several key guidelines may request consideration for deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal.
What is DACA?
Deferred action is a discretionary determination by the federal government to defer removal action against an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Deferred action does not confer lawful status upon an individual. At this time, it also does not provide a path to permanent residence (“green card”) or citizenship.
Eligible individuals may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years subject to renewal. Additionally, individuals may be eligible for employment authorization through the issuance of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Who is eligible for DACA?
To be eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, you must:
- Be born after June 15, 1981;
- Have come to the U.S. before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Have been present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
- Entered without inspection (EWI) before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Currently be in school, graduated or received a certificate of completion from high school, obtained a general education development certificated (GED), or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces;
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, three or more misdemeanor offenses, and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety. It should be noted that driving under the influence (DUI) is considered a significant misdemeanor
USCIS requires that a filing fee of $465 accompany the application. Upon receiving the application, USCIS will require applicants to attend an appointment to have their biometrics (fingerprints) taken and will conduct background checks utilizing various government databases.
Individuals considering applying for Deferred Action should only consult with a licensed attorney. The Law Offices of Richard A. Gump, Jr. will help determine if you are eligible and file the application on your behalf. Contact us today.