Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
On November 20, 2014, President Obama took Executive Action on immigration. One of the areas that is impacted in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Previously, DACA allowed for undocumented immigrants who were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, who entered the U.S. before June 15, 2007, as children under the age of 16 on that date, and who meet specific educational and public safety criteria, to be eligible for deferred action on a case-by-case basis. The initial DACA announcement of June 15, 2012, provided this deferred action for a period of two years. However, on June 5, 2014, USCIS announced that DACA recipients could request a renewal of their deferred action for an additional two years.
Under President Obama’s Executive Action, DACA has been expanded in the following ways:
- All otherwise eligible undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. by the requisite adjusted entry date before the age of sixteen, regardless of how old they were in June, 2012 or their age today are covered by DACA. The current age restriction excludes those who were older than 31 on Nov. 20, 2014 (born before June 15, 1981).
- DACA renewal and work authorization has been extended to three year increments. This change shall apply to all first-time applications, as well as all applications for renewal and is effective November 24, 2014. Beginning on that date, all work authorization documents will be valid for three years, including to those individuals who have applied for and are awaiting two year work authorization documents. USCIS is also to consider how to extend two year renewals already issued to three years.
- To conform with other changes in President Obama’s Executive Action, the eligibility cut-off date that a DACA applicant must have been in the U.S. should be changed to January 1, 2010 (from June 15, 2007).
USCIS should begin accepting applications under the new criteria no later than 90 days from the date of this announcement (approximately Feb. 20, 2015).