Is it too late to apply for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)?

DACA is a program that allows people who were brought to the United States as children to apply for Deferred Action (a promise by the government to not begin removal proceedings), and a work authorization card for a two year period.  As of the end of 2015, over 850,000 people have been approved for the DACA program.  That number continues to grow as new filers continue to apply.

To qualify, you must demonstrate that:

  • You entered the U.S. before June 15, 2007, and have lived in the U.S. continuously since that time.
  • You entered the U.S. before your 16th birthday
  • You do not have a disqualifying criminal record
  • You were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012
  • You are currently in school, or already graduated from high school

Many of our recent DACA clients previously had thought that they couldn’t apply because they had dropped out of (or never attended) school here in the U.S.  However, the regulations are clear that someone who enrolls in and is attending a GED, literacy, or career-training program can also qualify.  Some online schools can also qualify.  An experienced immigration attorney can help you figure out if you and your school meet the necessary guidelines.

DACA is the result of an executive order by President Barack Obama.  Because it was created by presidential order, it can also be stopped by a presidential order.  With the elections coming up in November, we will have a new president in office on January 20 next year.  Depending on who wins, it is possible that DACA could be taken away.  However, it is likely that, even if the new president did away with the program, he or she would simply allow current cards to expire and just stop renewals and new filings.  As such, it is probable that anyone who already had a card would be allowed to use it until it expired.  For that reason, it seems doubly important that anyone who is able to apply does so as soon as possible to ensure that they get their card before the new president takes office.

If you have any questions about DACA, contact the attorneys at Walther Goss Law to schedule an appointment to discuss your immigration case.

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