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The Immigration Team at Widerman Malek assists clients with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

What Is DACA?

DACA created an opportunity for those individuals brought into the U.S. as minors, who do not have legal status, to apply for a 2-year, renewable period of deferred action on deportation, and obtain a work permit. Approximately 800,000 individuals were enrolled in the program as of 2017.

Why Was DACA Created?

President Obama established DACA by executive order in 2012 after numerous failed attempts by U.S. Congress to enact legislation, known as the Dream Act, to protect minors, often referred to as “Dreamers,” brought into the U.S. illegally by their parents.

What DACA Does Not Do

DACA does NOT afford a path to citizenship. It does NOT resolve the underlying legal status of “Dreamers.” It is merely a temporary solution.

Current Status

In September of 2017, President Trump initiated a plan, via executive order, to begin phasing out the program and gave U.S. Congress six months to take action on enacting comprehensive immigration reform that addressed “Dreamers.” This order set a deadline for application and renewal. This executive order is currently being litigated in U.S. Federal Court.

However, on December 7, 2020, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) reinstated DACA and resumed the acceptance of first-time applications effective December 7, 2020, in accordance with a recent U.S. district court order. In addition, USCIS will:

  • Accept DACA Renewal Requests;
  • Accept applications for advance parole (travel document);
  • Extend one-year of grants of deferred to two years; and
  • Extend one-year employment authorization documents (EAD) to two years.

Do I Qualify?

Our Immigration Team would appreciate the opportunity to review your situation and to discuss the DACA requirements with you. Please contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation.

The Future and Next Steps

Despite the current reinstatement of DACA, USCIS may continue to seek relief from this court order leaving the long-term availability of the program unknown. Therefore, we recommend all prospective applicants quickly take advantage of this recent court order. Please contact our law firm to speak with our experienced immigration staff to discuss your eligibility and the application request process.

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