DACA: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced that it would not deport certain undocumented persons who entered the U.S. as children. Deferred Action means that although an individual is undocumented (entered without inspection) or subject to deportation, the government will agree to “defer” any actions to remove them. In addition, deferred action will allow individuals to complete their education, work, or begin their careers. However, it is important to note that Deferred Action does not provide a pathway for lawful permanent resident status or citizenship. In addition, certain criminal offenses will make a person ineligible to be granted Deferred Action. For example, if an individual has been convicted of one serious crime, then that person will not be eligible for Deferred Action.
The Department of Homeland Security has provided guidance on criminal offenses preventing the eligibility of DACA—such as, one DUI may be considered a “serious misdemeanor” preventing eligibility.
You may request DACA if you:
1. Are at least 15 years;
2. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
3. Entered the U.S. before age 16;
4. Have been present in the U.S. for 5 years as of June 15, 2012;
5. Have maintained continuous residence in the US;
6. Are currently in school (including GED programs), have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, obtained a GED certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
7. 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.
Renew Your DACA
If your initial two-year grant of Deferred Action for childhood arrivals (DACA) is expiring, you may request a renewal.
Who Can Renew
You may request a renewal if you met the initial DACA guidelines and you:
• Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
• Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved;
• Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
When to Renew
You should submit your renewal request about 4 months before the expiration of your current deferred action.
If you submit your request more than 5 months before your current period expires, USCIS may reject it and return it to you with instructions to resubmit it closer to the expiration date.
At Fernandez Law Group, PLLC; we can help you, contact us.