DACA-Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
A recent positive immigration reform involves the DACA program—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA does not provide any immigration status per se. DACA is an exercise in prosecutorial discretion, meaning the government agrees not to place the DACA-grantee in removal proceedings, and provides for employment authorization. It is also possible other immigration reform may grow from DACA.
You may request DACA 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, up to the present time;
- 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;
- Had no lawful status on 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, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
USCIS does not view minor traffic offenses, such as a speeding ticket or a ticket for driving without a license, as misdemeanors.
DACA-Grantees are Eligible to Apply to Travel Abroad
DACA recipients may apply for advance parole, which gives a person in the United States advance permission to reenter the country after traveling abroad. In order to receive advance parole, a DACA recipient generally must show that s/he is traveling abroad for humanitarian, employment, or educational purposes. Advance parole does not guarantee that an individual will be allowed to reenter the US. Immigration officials have the authority to deny parole at a port of entry in certain circumstances. In general, however, persons granted advance parole do not have problems reentering the US.
A DACA Grant May Be Revoked DACA grant, which allows you to stay in the U.S. lawfully for two years, can be revoked. For example, if you are convicted of a crime that would disqualify you from DACA, including crimes related to violence, drugs, sexual abuse, burglary, possession or use of a firearm, driving under the influence, or gangs, you could lose your deferred action and be placed in removal proceedings.
Generally, a grant of DACA is valid for a 2-year period. If you were granted DACA, you may submit an application to renew your DACA. You must also meet the following requirements in order to qualify for DACA renewal:
- You must not have departed the U.S. on or after August 15, 2012, without first having been granted advance parole.
- You must have resided continuously in the U.S. from the time you submitted the initial request for DACA up until the present time.
- You must not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and must not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Gerald Goulder is an experienced North Carolina immigration lawyer helping individuals and families in North Carolina and throughout the United States and around the world with deferred action and DACA—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, including DACA renewal. US immigration law is federal law. This enables Goulder Immigration Law Firm to assist individuals and companies throughout the U.S. and around the world.
For solutions to your DACA eligibility, application and DACA renewal matters call immigration attorney Gerald Goulder at Goulder Immigration Law Firm (336) 808-1119 or ask him a question using this online email form: