Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
President Barack Obama announced in June of 2012 that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would not deport certain undocumented youth who entered the United States as children. This program is called “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” or “DACA” and permits eligible youth to be granted temporary permission to live and work in the U.S.
Under DACA, deferred action is granted for two (2) years and can be renewed for an additional two (2) years. DACA is granted on a case by case basis, so even if you meet the basic requirements, it is up to DHS whether or not to grant you DACA. DACA is temporary and does not provide a path to lawful permanent residence (“greencard”) or U.S. citizenship, but a person granted DACA will be considered to be lawfully present in the U.S. for as long as their deferred action is in effect.
On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that President Trump issued an executive order rescinding DACA, giving Congress until March 5, 2018 to create an alternative legislative protection. As a result, USCIS stopped accepting ad processing DACA applications. However On January 9, 2018, a federal court ordered that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must resume the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program throughout the United States. The court order pertains only to DACA renewal applications. New applications for persons who were never granted DACA before will not be accepted. Requests for advance parole will also not be accepted.