Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a policy that allows young immigrants that entered this country before they turned 16 years of age to receive a 2 year work permit. They are also exempt from deportation.
The program was first implemented in 2014 by President Obama. This program is a way to help young immigrants who are originally considered in the U.S. as unlawful to be here legally.
These young immigrants end up in the U.S. for a variety of reasons, and are considered here unlawfully due to their immigrant status. Many children will come to the U.S. at such a young age as visitors, diplomats, foreign workers and foreign students. The U.S. becomes their home essentially, even if they are here no longer legally.
This program may be fairly recent, but actions like this have been going on in the U.S. for the longest time. If undocumented immigrants get deported, the people who get deported are criminals usually, not families.
The original DACA Program that was created had specific criteria for children who wanted to stay here. The children must have arrived before turning 16 years old. They must of had continuous residence in the U.S. since June 15, 2012. They must be in school, graduated, obtained a GED, or be in the process of pursuing that. They must not have a criminal record as well.
The DACA application process involved submitting the proper forms. You must submit USCIS Forms I-821D, I-765, and I-765W. All of the fees need to be paid off, and you must submit any other supporting documentation. If you are approved you will then receive a work permit, social security number, and a driver's license if you choose to. To be considered lawfully in the U.S. a person will also have to apply for deferred action renewal.
Since the program has started, it has also expanded. This is a part of the immigration reform program. There have been mixed opinions on this extension, therefore leaving the DACA expanded program currently on hold. The following policies were a part of the plan. Anyone who is applying must have been in this country before the age of 16 years old, entered the U.S. before or on January 1, 2010, must be in high school, getting a GED, or has already graduated or received a GED, must not have a criminal record, and they can apply at any age now. The approval period has been extended from 2 years to 3 years. DACA renewal must be done every 3 years.
The USCIS is still taking applications for the original DACA program. According to Legal Zoom, "approximately 611,000 DACA applications have been granted out of 702,000 applications. The program has generated tax revenues while allowing many childhood arrivals to come out of the shadows."
To find out more about immigration law, be sure to check out our other blog posts on the topic.
Source: Legal Zoom