On behalf of Sayer Regan & Thayer of Sayer Regan & Thayer, LLP posted on Thursday, September 27, 2021.

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a policy that protects 800,000 young people — “DREAMers” — who have entered this country unlawfully as children. They are not granted official legal status or given a clear pathway to citizenship under this policy, but they can apply for drivers’ licenses, work permits, and social security numbers.
It was established back in 2012 by President Barack Obama, a policy that President Trump attempted to dismantle when in office. In December 2020, a federal judge ruled that first-time applicants for DACA would be permitted to apply. So, what does this reinstatement mean for you under immigration law?

Effective December 7, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) now accepts:

  • First-time requests for deferred action under the DACA policy
  • DACA renewal requests 
  • Applications for advance parole documents

It also extends:

  • Deferred action grants from one to two years
  • One-year employment authorization documents (also known as EAD) to two years

It is the responsibility of the federal government to contact all immigrants who have become eligible for this program and inform them of the new change. Many say the change will allow hundreds of thousands of immigrant youths, who had previously been unfairly denied a chance, to now get that chance under the reinstatement of the DACA program. But there are still many legal challenges and hurdles to overcome, and government remains divided over the topic.

Studies show that 250,000 U.S.-born children have at least one parent enrolled in DACA, with 1.5 million people in this country living with a beneficiary of the program.

Requirements for Application

To apply for DACA status, immigrants must meet these requirements. They must:

  • Have been under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012.
  • Have arrived in the U.S. before turning 16.
  • Have lived continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, up to now.
  • Have been physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, not having left the country since August 15, 2012 sans advance parole.
  • Have been undocumented on June 15, 2012.
  • Continue to be undocumented at the time of application submittal.
  • Be at least 15 years old at application submittal. 
  • Have graduated high school, received a (GED), be in school currently or be honorably discharged from the U.S. military.
  • Not have a criminal record.
  • Not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Contact Sayer Regan & Thayer for Help with DACA Issues

The laws surrounding the DACA reinstatement are complex. That’s why it’s in your best interest to call a lawyer skilled in immigration law. Confused about how the DACA Immigration Program’s reinstatement affects you? Feel free to contact us for your free, no-obligation consultation.

These materials have been prepared by SRT for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.