Immigration 101: DACA

In June 2012, former President Obama adopted an executive policy allowing people who had unlawfully entered the US before turning sixteen years old to apply for a form of relief from removal called “deferred action.” Deferred action is a promise from the government that it will not try to remove you from the US for a certain period of time. The government would allow eligible DACA applicants to remain in the country for a renewable two-year period. Eligible applicants would also be granted a work authorization document. Another program called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (“DAPA”) granted deferred actions to certain parents of US citizens and permanent residents. DAPA went into effect in 2014, but it is currently blocked by an injunction issued by a federal court.

Former President Obama’s DACA program is technically still in existence. However, current President Trump has said several times that he will do away with DACA. Since President Trump took office in 2017, ICE officials have arrested and detained some DACA recipients. Many people are worried that the current administration will not only rescind DACA, but will also bring removal proceedings against people who brought themselves to the attention of immigration officials by applying for DACA protection.If you believe that you are eligible for DACA, you should speak with an experienced attorney before you apply. If you have already been granted DACA protection, you may want to speak with an attorney before you submit your renewal application, especially if you have any criminal convictions.

This article is part of our ongoing “Immigration 101” series, in which we break down topics in US immigration law. For more articles in this series, click here.

This post was originally written by Stuart Nickum and adapted for this blog post by Lena Barouh.


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