DACA -- Deferring Your Anxieties About Your Future

Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, originated in 2012 as an executive order by the Obama White House. DACA allowed undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as a child to receive a deferred status from the USCIS for two years.

DACA was the government's response to the failure of the DREAM Act, a bill that would have granted conditional permanent residency to a similar but more restricted group of illegal immigrants.

The idea was controversial to many, and has been challenged in the courts, but it was also embraced by many as a way for young people to be safe from deportation while they pursued education or served in our military.

DACA may be described as discretionary, too, by the Department of Homeland Security to have said:

"Relax. We are not going to pursue your case for two years. During this period you may seek work. Understand, however, DACA is not a pathway to a green card or citizenship."

DACA Applicants Must:

  • Be under age 31 as of June 15, 2012
  • Have come to the U.S. before your 16th birthday
  • Have lived continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, up to the present time
  • Have been physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of applying for DACA
  • Currently be in school; have graduated or completed high school or obtained a GED; or be an honorably discharged veteran of the armed forces or Coast Guard
  • Have no criminal convictions for felonies or serious misdemeanors, or three or more lesser misdemeanors
  • Pose no threat to national security or public safety

Two years is not necessarily the limit of DACA. The process can be extended after the two-year period.

DACA, Expanded DACA and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, and an extension of DAPA that has been challenged in the courts), are not simple matters, and many people rightfully feel vulnerable going to the Department of Homeland Security and acknowledging they are undocumented. There are stories of DACA applicants being turned down and then pursued by the USCIS.

For these reasons, it is essential to work with lawyers who understand the nature of DACA, who can guide you through the complexities, and who can advise you on borderline issues such as minor misdemeanors on your record.

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Harrison-Donaldson, Attorney at Law, knows how critical it is to your family to work through the bureaucracy of immigration law. We can help. Call us at our Dallas, Texas, office at 972-746-2314, or email us a description of your situation.

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