Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
What is DACA?
DACA is an immigration policy giving a two-year period of deferred action, delaying the deportation process, to those with an unlawful presence in the United States who moved to the country as children.
DACA doesn’t provide permanent legal status or citizenship, and thus it has to be renewed every two years.
Brief History of DACA
The policy was announced by President Barack Obama in 2012.
In 2014, President Obama planned on expanding DACA to DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents), which goal was to grant deferred action to undocummented immigrants who have lived in the United States since 2010 and are parents of American citizens or lawful permanent residents.
The plan of DAPA was rescinded by President Trump in 2017. Additionally, the Trump Administration announced that it will phase out DACA, preventing immigrants from renewing DACA on or after September 5, 2017, leading to immediate deportation processes.
In January 2021, President Biden issued an act preserving and fortifying DACA, restoring the policy’s original program.
Benefits of DACA
DACA offers employment status and higher wages for the eligible immigrants. Data shows that DACA has also reduced the number of households living in poverty as well as improved DACA applicants’ overall mental health. Furthermore, DACA not only gives young immigrants an opportunity to pursue their professional goals, but also contribute to the US economy and labor market.
Effective December 7, 2020
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is:
Accepting first-time DACA applications as well as renewal requests
Giving permission to travel abroad on advance parole documents for humanitarian, educational, and employment purposes
Extending one-year employment authorization documents to two years
Recently, on March 11, 2021, Arkansas United, an immigrants’ rights organization, announced that it’s pushing for two bills regarding DACA. One of them would allow DACA students to get a teacher’s and nursing licence. The second bill would approve bilingual programs to be introduced in public school systems in order to help Spanish-speaking students succeed.
How Can We Help?
Mil Mujeres is an organization providing legal services to those petitioning for immigration status in the US. We fully support the mission of DACA and we stand with DACA recipients. If you are eligible for DACA, we are here to help you and support you along the way. Do not hesitate to reach out to Mil Mujeres. We believe in your success and bright future in the US!