The path to citizenship can be long and stressful. It can make you feel uncertain about the right next step for you. With such traumatic events as deportation looming over you, knowing how to navigate the United States immigration system is no small task. In this blog, we will break down one of the ways to help avoid deportation. This blog is dedicated to talking about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), what it is, who can qualify, and how we can help.
What is DACA?
Introduced by the Obama administration in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program’s goal was to help children who entered the United States illegally at a young age continue work, learn, and live in the U.S.A. Today, it still helps a lot of children and families avoid deportation. Similar acts have been proposed in modern legislation, such as the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) act. The difference is DACA does not currently have a path that would lead to citizenship.
In the past administration, under President Trump, DACA came under fire. The administration attempted to halt and dismantle the program starting in 2017. The Supreme Court did not allow Trump’s administration to do so and blocked the call to end DACA. Before leaving office in 2020, President Trump called for a “comprehensive legal review” of the entire DACA program. This left the whole program on a rocky foundation and in peril.
On July 16th, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas held that DACA “is illegal.” This means the Department of Homeland Security is prohibited from authorizing initial DACA requests along with requests for employment authorization. This does not mean you cannot submit for a DACA renewal; that process has remained untouched and will operate as it did.
Who Can Qualify?
As of today, the DACA program is not accepting new applications. But, they are accepting renewal submissions. You can renew your DACA for up to one year, unlike in the past when it was two years.
If DACA were to re-open, the following would be how you would know if you’re eligible to apply for DACA:
- You must have been born on or after June 1st, 1991 (31 years old or under)
- You must have moved to the United States when you were 16 years old or younger
- You must have been residing in the United States since June 2007 up until the present day
- You must have a clean or minimal criminal record
- You must be enrolled in some form of school or have received your GED
If you’re looking to renew your DACA status, you also must have proof of the following:
- Lived in the United States continuously since your last renewal
- Maintain a clean or minor criminal record
- You are not a threat to national security
How Can We Help?
If you depend on DACA to be able to stay in the United States, it can be stressful knowing that DACA rules and regulations change with the courts and the presidential administrations. This is why it’s important to have a skilled immigration attorney on your side. We can help you navigate the legal jargon as well as help you renew your DACA status. Here at Colón Law Firm we exclusively focus on immigration law, making us the most knowledgeable and reliable legal experts to help you navigate your case.
We can also help find alternative paths to avoid deportation, and we can help you renew and uphold your current DACA status. We are fiercely committed to our clients and exclusively focus on immigration laws. We are the experts, and we want to fight alongside you.
If you have questions about immigration law contact Colón Law Firm at (864) 697-2870!