What is DACA?

Through administrative relief, DACA was established on June 15, 2012, to provide protection to qualifying individuals who entered the United States as children. Deferred action means to defer removal or deportation of these individuals from the United States. Mainly, qualifying individuals will be granted protection from deportation for two years, subject to renewal, and be eligible for a work permit.

Individuals may be eligible for DACA if they meet the following requirements:

  • They were in the United States before turning 16 years old;
  • They were under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012;
  • They were physically present on June 15, 2012, and on the day that they submit their application;
  • They have continuously lived in the United States from June 15, 2007, until the present;
  • They entered the United States without documents before June 15, 2012, or their lawful immigration status expired before June 15, 2012;
  • They are currently enrolled in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a high school equivalency certificate (GED) or have been honorably discharged from the United States Coast Guard or Armed Forces; and
  • They have not been convicted of a felony, certain significant misdemeanors, or three other misdemeanors.

DACA does not provide a path to citizenship. The federal DREAM Act, which would help create a path to citizenship for individuals who meet certain requirements similar to DACA, has not passed even after being put up for a vote several times since its inception. You should consult with an attorney if you have had any contact with law enforcement or immigration authorities.

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