On April 12, 2022, USCIS announced that individuals who previously received deferred action under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) can now file Form I-821D online.

On September 28, 2021, DHS issued a proposed regulation which attempts to satisfy the concerns of a Federal Judge in Texas who ruled in July that the Obama lacked the authority to establish the DACA program.

On July 16, 2021, a Federal Judge in Texas ordered the government to close the DACA program to new applicants.   He ruled that the Obama Administration did not have the authority to implement the program without Congressional approval.

However, persons who have already qualified for DACA can remain on the program while the government appeals the Judge’s ruling. Here is a link to the text of the Judge’s ruling.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was initiated by former President Obama on June 15, 2012. The program protects certain undocumented persons who were brought to the United States as children from deportation. Additionally, persons who qualify for DACA can get work permits (Employment Authorization Documents) and, in some cases, international travel permits (Advance Parole).

In order to qualify, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012;
  • Have first come to the US prior to their 16th birthdays;
  • Have lived in the US since June 15, 2007;
  • Be physically present in the US on June 15, 2012 and on the date of the application;
  • Not be in lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012;
  • Be currently studying or have graduated from high school, earned a GED or have an honorable discharge from the US Armed Forces or the Coast Guard; and
  • Have not be convicted of a felony or DUI, or convicted of a “significant misdemeanor” or 3 or more misdemeanors of any kind.

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DACA On President Biden’s first day in office, he reinstated the DACA program by issuing an Executive Order entitled Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The Executive Order provides that “In 2012, during the Obama-Biden Administration, the Secretary of Homeland Security issued a memorandum outlining how, in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion, the Department of Homeland Security should enforce the Nation’s immigration laws against certain young people. This memorandum, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) guidance, deferred the removal of certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, have obeyed the law, and stayed in school or enlisted in the military.”

“DACA and associated regulations permit eligible individuals who pass a background check to request temporary relief from removal and to apply for temporary work permits. DACA reflects a judgment that these immigrants should not be a priority for removal based on humanitarian concerns and other considerations, and that work authorization will enable them to support themselves and their families, and to contribute to our economy, while they remain.”

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