DREAMers / Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
If you or a member of your family arrived in the United States under the age of 16 and where under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) may be an option for obtaining work authorization and relief from removal.
On June 15, 2012, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano issued a memorandum announcing a new program that offers grants of deferred action, in two-year increments, to certain individuals who entered the U.S. as children. With a grant of deferred action, individuals are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a discretionary and temporary determination by the government not to deport an individual. Deferred action is not permanent residence, does not place a person on a path to permanent residence, and does not grant a person any legal status in the U. S.
To be eligible for the new program, an individual must meet the following criteria:
- Came to United States under the age of 16
- Has continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years prior to June 15, 2012 and is physically present in the U.S on June 15, 2012
- Is under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012
- Is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a GED, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. coast guard or armed forces, and
- Has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, or multiple misdemeanor offenses.
More information about these specific requirements can be found on the USCIS “Childhood Arrivals” page.
Any eligible individual who is in removal proceedings, or who is encountered by ICE, CBP, or USCIS may apply for deferred action. Individuals who are not in deportation proceedings must also file an application with USCIS.
The attorneys at Stern & Curray LLC have successfully represented a significant number of childhood arrivals in their DACA applications. We provide no-charge initial consultations for childhood arrivals during which we assess eligibility and discuss strategies for documenting each element of the case. When working with you on your DACA applications we ensure you have all your questions answered at every stage of the case.