Complying with a recent federal court order, on Monday December 7, 2020, the Trump administration reinstated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. It has been an uncertain four years for DACA recipients as President Trump worked hard to prove the unconstitutionality of the immigration policy, which was created under the Obama administration in 2012. The Obama-era program allows for immigrants who were brought to the US as children to apply for temporary permission to remain lawfully in the United States. This federal court ruling is a win for undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children and will open doors for many thousand more to apply.
On Monday, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the new application updates for those considering applying for DACA for their first time and for DACA renewal applicants, known as Dreamers, as well. According to the updated policy guidelines, USCIS will be accepting DACA renewal requests and applications for advance parole documents based on the terms of the DACA policy before September 5, 2017. Advance parole allows DACA recipients to travel internationally and return to the US lawfully. USCIS will also be extending one-year grants of deferred action under DACA for two years and extending one-year employment authorization documents under DACA for two years as well.
Having the DACA program in full effect is a victory for immigrants and their families, but also for all American citizens. Dreamers contribute to all sectors in the United States as frontline health care workers, agricultural workers, university students, business owners and more. With this immigration program, we can protect over 600,000- 800,000 more Dreamers who have demonstrated their significant ties to the US and have proven to be hard-working and law-abiding members of their community.
First time applicants should review the following questions to determine their eligibility to apply:
- Were you under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012?
- Did you come to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday?
- Have you continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time?
- Were you present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS?
- Did you have no lawful status in the US on June 15, 2012? (No lawful status on June 15, 2012 means that: A. You never had a lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012; or B. Any lawful immigration status or parole that you obtained prior to June 15, 2012 had expired as of June 15, 2012.)
- Are you currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general educational development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or U.S. Coast Guard?
- Have you not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor?