DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a U.S. immigration policy that provides a quasi-legal status and employment authorization to certain individuals unlawfully present in the United States after being brought to the country as children. Individuals may qualify for DACA if they:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States under the age of 16;
- Have continuously resided in the United States from June 15, 2007, to the present;
- Entered the United States without inspection before June 15, 2012, or had lawful immigration status expire as of June 15, 2012;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Are currently enrolled in school, or have graduated from high school, obtained a GED, or been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or armed forced; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors, and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Individuals who meet these requirements are considered eligible for DACA. Applicants are eligible for an initial period of two years which may then be renewed in two-year increments. To qualify for renewal of DACA, individuals must:
- Not have departed the United States on or after August 15, 2021, without advance parole;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since submitting most recent approved request for renewal of DACA up to the present time; and
- Not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
A Texas district court judge held in July 2021 that the DACA policy is illegal. Until this matter is resolved, DHS continues to accept the filing of both initial and renewal DACA requests and accompanying requests for employment authorization but is only adjudicating renewal requests.
Akula & Associates will continue to monitor this issue. Please visit our website at www.akulalaw.com or call our office at 972-241-4695 for more updates. Follow us on Facebook at Akula & Associates and on Instagram at akulalaw.