The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has attracted great interest and discussion since its inception in 2012.
Given the impact that DACA has on the lives of many young immigrants, understanding the various aspects of this program is important. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about this immigration program.
What is DACA?
DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It is an immigration policy that provides temporary relief from deportation and work authorization to eligible individuals brought to the United States as children. This does not offer a path to citizenship but allows recipients to live and work in the U.S. legally for a renewable two-year period.
Who qualifies for DACA?
To qualify for DACA, you must meet several criteria, including:
- Arrival in the United States before turning 16
- Continuous living in the country since June 15, 2007
- High school graduation or a GED, or current school enrollment
- Age under 31 as of June 15, 2012
You also cannot have any felony convictions, significant misdemeanors or three or more misdemeanor charges against you.
How can you apply for DACA?
To apply for DACA, you must submit an application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. This application includes several forms and requires supporting documents to prove eligibility. The application process also includes a fee.
Can the government revoke DACA status?
If the government finds that a recipient has violated the program’s terms or has engaged in criminal activity, they may terminate the DACA status.
DACA represents a significant policy affecting the lives of nearly one million young immigrants in the United States. However, the future of DACA remains uncertain, with changes in political leadership and legal challenges affecting it.