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What is “DACA”?
“DACA” is short for “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.” The Obama administration created DACA in 2012 to protect certain individuals who were brought to the United States as children from being deported. DACA is not a visa and does not grant lawful status like a Green Card would, but having DACA does allow you to stay and legally work in the United States and obtain health insurance from your employer.
Why do I keep hearing about DACA in the news?
The Trump administration argued that DACA was created unlawfully, and since 2017 has tried to remove the entire program. For the past few years courts throughout the country have ruled differently on whether the Trump administration can get rid of various aspects of DACA, which is why DACA is in the news so frequently.
What’s going on with DACA today?
Since 2017, immigration officials have refused to accept new DACA applications. A federal court in the Eastern District of New York recently ordered that DACA should be fully reinstated by December 7, 2020. This means, among other things, that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) have to accept new DACA applications as of December 7, 2020. Another hearing is scheduled for December 22, 2020 in a Texas court that could affect DACA again.
Can I apply for DACA?
To qualify for DACA, you need to prove all of the following to immigration officials:
- You were born after June 15, 1981; and
- You arrived in the United States before you were 16 years old; and
- You have continuously lived in the United States since June 15, 2007 until the present; and
- You were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012; and
- You had no lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012; and
- You either are in high school, graduated high school, obtained a GED certificate, attend college or community college, or were honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or the Coast Guard; and
- You do not have a serious criminal history.
Where can I get help with my DACA application?
Immigration law is very complicated and it is important to speak with an immigration attorney before you apply for DACA or for any other immigration help.
You can call the Hightower Reff Law immigration line directly at 402-932-9116 to speak with our immigration attorney, who can help determine if you can apply for DACA for the first time or renew your DACA status.
For more information on DACA, you can visit the official website for the Department of Homeland Security and the official website for USCIS.
This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts.
If you need help with an Immigration case, contact Hightower Reff Law today and come visit with one of the attorneys at the Omaha office.