Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
On June 15, 2012, President Obama and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, which later became known as DACA. Secretary Napolitano stated that she intended to have the program up and running within sixty days. The program was intended to benefit Dream Act qualified aliens by allowing them to obtain work authorization and avoid deportation or removal.
The requirements for DACA are as follows:
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a discretionary decision by USCIS to defer removal or deportation of an individual under prosecutorial discretion. It does not provide lawful status to the applicant, but allows the applicant to work legally in the United States once the I-765 is approved. It is not a pathway to adjustment of status or naturalization. If an applicant is approved, she will not accrue unlawful presence during the approval period; however, she is not considered in lawful status. Unlawful presence refers to a period of time an alien is present in the United States without being admitted or paroled or after the expiration of an authorized stay in the United States.
There are several forms involved in a DACA packet and substantial evidence is required in order to obtain an approval. Applicants must prove economic necessity in order to obtain an approved work authorization.
Although the Department of Homeland Security has stated that information obtained by the government through the DACA process will remain confidential, it is important to carefully consider what evidence will be provided during the DACA process.
Individuals that are currently in removal or deportation proceedings are eligible for consideration under the DACA process. If approved, their removal proceedings would be discontinued.
DACA is not a substitute for The Dream Act or comprehensive immigration reform. DACA is a temporary reprieve while the issue of comprehensive immigration reform is further considered by Congress and the President.
In California, it should be possible to obtain a social security card and driver's license once the applicant alien obtains work authorization.
Individuals enrolled in a public or private high school or secondary school remain eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Applicants enrolled in an education, literacy, or career training program that is designed to lead to placement in postsecondary education, job training or employment are eligible for DACA relief. Applicants enrolled in an education program that assists students in obtaining a high school diploma or preparing for the GED are eligible as well.
While applicants must show that they have lived in the United States for the previous five years, absences that are brief, casual and innocent will not be considered to break the physical presence requirement. A brief, casual and innocent trip is a vague concept, but, in general, it refers to:
After a DACA applicant is approved, she might be eligible to travel outside the United States, but she must first apply for advanced parole. The work authorization and DACA approval alone do not allow for travel outside the United States. The DACA approved alien must process further forms in order to travel.
For more information on consequences arising from criminal convictions and DACA eligibility, click here.
General Deportation & Immigration Court Information
Release on Bond
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Cancellation of Removal
TPS - Temporary Protected Status
Motions to Reopen
Immigration Court Appeals
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