Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was established in 2010. This policy was designed to allow individuals who unintentionally violated immigration laws to continue living their lives in the U.S.
Parents often bring their children into the U.S. with them from another country, and as a result, the whole family becomes undocumented immigrants when they don’t follow the proper legal channels. Since children typically do not embark on the journey to the U.S. with their parents to break any immigration laws, the Obama administration worked with the Department of Homeland Security to establish DACA.
The administration decided that the children are not responsible for what happened when they were young and found that it would be unreasonable to punish them for living in the U.S. as undocumented immigrants.
Through DACA, the Department of Homeland Security can stop eligible immigrants from being deported from the U.S. if they meet certain guidelines.
Eligibility for DACA
The following is the list of criteria that undocumented immigrants must meet in order to be eligible for DACA:
- Childhood immigrants must have entered the U.S. when they were younger than 16 years of age.
- Immigrants must have been under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012.
- They must have been in the U.S. for five years prior to June 15, 2012.
- Those who wish to be granted Deferred Action must undergo a background check and have a clean record. This means no felonies, misdemeanors or any evidence that they are a threat to the U.S.
- Immigrants must have graduated from a high school or received their GED, be enrolled in school or be a veteran of the U.S. military.
If you want to be issued Deferred Action, then you’ll be required to provide the proper documentation that proves you qualify. Documents such as financial records, medical records, school records, military records or employment records can serve as proof that you’ve been in the U.S. since before turning age 16 and have lived in the U.S. for at least five years
Applicants can show that they are in school or graduated from high school, or are in the military or were honorably discharged, by providing a diploma, General Education Development certificate, high school transcript, report of separation form, military personnel records, military health records or a report card.
How to apply for Deferred Action
When you use Immigration