On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization.
The DACA program is a specialized form of deferred action, and is often referred to as “Dream Act.” However, this name and reference is not accurate. The Dream Act originally refers to a proposed law called the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. Variations of this law have been introduced since 2001, and so far none has passed.
DACA is not a long-term immigration solution. It does not waive any grounds of inadmissibility, such as entering the U.S. without authorization. However, it does allow a grantee to obtain a Social Security Number, a driver’s license, and it also allows for lawful employment.
You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 and up to the time of filing;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.