DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a program where people who were brought to the U.S. as children can get a renewable two-years of deferred action from deportation and can also get work permits.
Is DACA a Path to Citizenship?
DACA is not a path to citizenship.
DACA was never meant to be a permanent solution. The DACA program is now in effect by executive order, but executive orders are more easily overturned when administrations change than laws passed by Congress.
Several versions of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act have been introduced in Congress, the first one in 2001. The Dream Act would supplant DACA, but none of the versions have passed to date.
Currently, there are two versions of the DREAM Act before Congress
- The Dream Act of 2021 (S. 264)
- A version that is part of a larger bill, the Dream and Promise Act of 2021 (H.R. 6).
Both versions would provide a pathway to citizenship if passed.
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A Brief, Far from Complete History of DACA
DACA was established by President Barack Obama by executive order in 2012. After Donald Trump became President, the Trump administration announced a plan to phase out DACA all together. The plan was put on hold to give Congress time to pass other legislation such as the DREAM Act to protect those who qualified for DACA. This didn’t happen by the time an extension of the program expired in March 2018.
Court injunctions prevented the Trump administration from killing DACA while litigation went through the courts. The Supreme court ruled in favor of the injunctions, stating the rescission of DACA was arbitrary. However, the Supreme Court left the way open for the government to rescind DACA at a later date if they could support their case with better legal arguments.
Before the Trump administration could find a way to deport anyone in the DACA program, Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election. On the very day he was inaugurated, January 20, 2021, President Biden reinstated DACA with an executive order.
Who Is Eligible for DACA?
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides guidelines about who can request DACA. You may request DACA if you:
- Were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012
- Came to the United States before you turned 16 years of age
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 up to now
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and when you requested consideration of deferred action with USCIS
- Did not have lawful immigrant status on June 15, 2012
- Are currently enrolled in school, have graduated, have a GED certificate or have been honorably discharged from the armed services and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Call Ghazi Law Group for a Consultation
If you think you may be eligible for DACA, contact Ghazi Law at (818) 839-6644 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation. We will analyze your eligibility as well as other options. Our immigration clients are located across the United States and the world, but we are in Sherman Oaks, California, close to Encino, Woodland Hills, Studio City and other areas of Los Angeles County.
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