DACA—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

The term "deferred action" refers to actions taken by the U.S. government that provide temporary relief from deportation. As a matter of prosecutorial discretion, the government decides on a case-by-case basis whether to enforce a deportation order or to allow the person to remain in the United States. A person who is granted deferred action is eligible for Employment Authorization, but deferred action does not lead to lawful permanent residence.

In 2012, the government began a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that allowed people who had been brought to the U.S. as children to stay and obtain work authorization. The status must be renewed after two years. A DREAMer is eligible if they meet the following requirements:

  • Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Came to the U.S. before reaching their 16th birthday;
  • Had continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  • Was physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of application for deferred action;
  • Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or lawful immigration status expired before June 15, 2012;
  • Was currently in school, had graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, had obtained a GED, or was an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces; and
  • Had not been convicted of a felony, a "significant misdemeanor," three or more other misdemeanors, and did not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Please contact us if you believe you or your family members might be eligible for this program.