DACA – Dream Act Executive Order
On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced a new policy to stop deportation of certain undocumented young people who came to the United States as minors. The policy is known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Eligible persons will be able to apply for work authorization (to work above the table), a social security number and a driver’s license. The process for carrying out the new policy took effect August 15, 2012. Since then many people had received DACA and received DACA renewal.
What is deferred action?
DACA is not immunity or Dream Act amnesty as some have wrongly suggested. The relief is temporary and will not allow the persons to travel abroad unless they first obtain Advance Parole. It is not a permanent residence status or a path to citizenship. Deferred action is merely a formal decision not to remove a person from the United States. The Department of Homeland Security can also terminate deferred action at any time. Only Congress can create the comprehensive immigration reform that will grant permanent residence and citizenship to DREAMers. Though the policy is cause for celebration, it is not as generous as it seems. One conviction for DUI may disqualify a person from receiving deferred action.
Are you eligible for DACA deferred action?
You are eligible for deferred action if you:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and when making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Are now in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Individuals who are under 15 but otherwise meet the above eligibility criteria can apply once they turn 15.
What is a significant misdemeanor for DACA?
A significant misdemeanor is a misdemeanor as defined by federal law (specifically, one for which the maximum term of incarceration authorized is one year or less but greater than five days) and:
- Regardless of the sentence imposed, is an offense of domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or, driving under the influence; or,
- If not an offense listed above, is one for which a judge sentenced to time in custody of more than 90 days. The sentence must involve time to be served in custody, and therefore does not include a suspended sentence.
DACA is discretionary
Prosecutorial discretion will remove the shadow of deportation for DREAMers for 2-year renewable increments during which time they can seek employment and await bolder action by Congress. Please note that there is no guarantee that USCIS or ICE will grant prosecutorial discretion or deferred action in any particular case. Each applicant needs to show that as well as merely being eligible, she warrants favorable consideration. Among the many positive factors the agencies will consider are:
- presence in the United States since childhood, and
- service in the United States Armed forces.
Get immigration law advice for DACA or DACA renewal
The USCIS has issued rules for implementing deferred action for childhood arrivals. Therefore you should contact an immigration attorney as soon as possible to determine your eligibility and to make the application. Do not take the risk of doing it on your own. Do not allow immigration scammers or notarios to deprive you of the opportunity to work legally in the United States. Rely on an experienced immigration attorney.
If you need help in getting deferred action and work authorization call us at 702-423-2721 or contact us via this website to schedule a consultation to find out about eligibility for deferred action for you or your children and get your application submitted quickly. Want DACA renewal? We can help. Saturday appointments are available by special appointment.