The topic of immigration can be confusing, especially with all the terms associated with the legal process. Under U.S. immigration law, DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA is a policy that allows certain people who are in the United States unlawfully (after coming to the country as children) to receive a renewable two-year period to defer deportation and become eligible for a U.S. work permit. The current administration announced the rescission of DACA in 2017. However, some illegal aliens are still able to renew their applications through federal court orders that have allowed USCIS to resume accepting requests. It is important to note that USCIS will not accept requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferment under DACA.
Who Is Eligible for DACA?
DACA began under the Obama administration in 2012. Individuals who meet the following criteria can apply for DACA:
- Under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012
- Came to the United States while under the age of 16
- Have continuously resided in the country from June 15, 2007, to the present
- Are currently in school, have a high school diploma or GED, or was honorably discharged from the Armed Forces or Coast Guard
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense or more than three misdemeanors
- Do not pose a threat to national security or public safety
The Future of DACA
Although the current White House administration put a stop to DACA in 2017, advocates and states filed lawsuits challenging the decision. In January of 2018, the first federal court to consider the issue entered a preliminary injunction that allowed persons who have or had DACA to apply for renewal of their protections. The future of DACA remains uncertain, as federal courts have agreed that the termination of DACA was likely unlawful....