DACA – One Year Later

The USCIS recently provided a one-year update on the number of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications received since the Service started accepting these applications on August 15, 2012.  Based on the USCIS’ statistics, more than 573,000 people have applied for DACA for which more than 430,000 have since received deferred action.  This deferred action allows undocumented youth who came to the U.S. as children to remain here temporarily without fear of deportation.  It also provides the approved applicants the ability to receive an employment authorization document (EAD) that allows them to lawfully work in the U.S. as well as to apply for a social security number (SSN).

As a reminder, the eligibility factors for DACA include:

  1. The applicant must be under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012;
  2. The applicant must have come to the USA before reaching their 16th birthday;
  3. The applicant must have continuously resided in the USA since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. The applicant must have been present in the USA on June 15, 2012, and at the time of their making their application for deferred action status;
  5. The applicant must have entered the USA without inspection before June 15, 2012, or their lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  6. The applicant must currently be in school, or have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, or have obtained a general education development certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.;
  7. The applicant cannot have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more misdemeanors, and cannot pose a threat to the USA’s national security or public safety.

We would also like to remind eligible youth that you must be at least 15 years of age to be qualified to file a DACA application with the USCIS, unless you are under removal proceedings.  Once a potential applicant turns 15, one may still presently apply for DACA, assuming that all the other criteria for DACA are met as well.

Contributed by Brian S. Weiss

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