This FAQs guide outlines relevant features about DACA.
1. What is DACA? Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals
a. Brief History of DACA
The introduction and implementation of DACA was a historical event. For the first time in the U.S. history, an immigration policy was passed due to efforts led by the “Develop, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Movement.”
The comprehensive immigration reform, entitled “Develop, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act,” otherwise known as the, “DREAM Act”, remained an elusive legislation proposal. This Act addresses the fate of young unauthorized immigrants in the USA who desires to go to college and obtain lawful employment. It serves as a pathway to U. S. citizenship, through college or the armed services, of the current, former, and future undocumented high school students and General Educational Development recipients. It was passed by the votes of Democrats. However, the said DREAM Act was blocked in the Senate in late 2010.
b. President Barack Obama’s First Initiative on DACA
On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would not deport certain undocumented youth, low enforcement priorities, who were brought to the USA as children. It was his mandate for DHS to improve the nation’s immigration policy to be enforced in a firm and sensible manner. It was also due to the inaction of the Republicans on the Federal DREAM Act and his firm commitment to fix the broken immigration system.
c. Mandate for the DHS
Also, on the same date: June 15, 2012, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced the sweeping enforcement priority directive that halted deportation of young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the USA as children. Further, it gave them work permits.
d. Brief Description of the Effect of DACA
This change is not a backdoor amnesty, an immunity, path to citizenship or permanent residency. It is more than a temporary stopgap. Also, it enhances the DHS enforcement resources to remove those who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety.
2. What Is Deferred Action?.
It is a discretionary prosecutorial determination aimed at putting on hold a removal action of an unlawful immigrant. The granting of a type of temporary permission to stay in the US, pending acquisition of legal permanent status through going to high school and armed services, or deferment of action, is through a formal process for consideration. Its determination is a case-to-case basis as explicitly provided in the DHS’ memorandum. The DHS is mandated to exercise prosecutorial discretion in immigration enforcement which is the legal basis giving deportation relief, among others. Any eligible young immigrant authorized by the DHS to be physically present in the USA, is deemed to be lawfully present during the period deferred action is in effect. It is not incumbent upon the DHS to confer lawful status upon an individual applicant.
Pursuant to the existing regulations, an individual, whose case will be subject for deferment under the consideration for DACA, will also be eligible to receive authorization for the period of deferred action. In the absence of capacity to demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment”, as the power is discretionary in nature and not absolute, the DHS is lawfully authorized to terminate or renew deferred action at any time.
3. What is the Application Process for DACA?
The request for the consideration for DACA is provided on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Form I-821D. Additional completed forms on Forms I-765 and I-765WS are required to request a work permit. More detailed information and instructions are available at http://www.uscis.gov/i-821d.
4. Who May Request Consideration for DACA?
Any illegal young immigrant who may prove through verifiable documents that he or she meets certain educational requirement and other requirements contained in 2012 DHS Memo’s general instructions may be considered for DACA. The requestor may be eligible for work authority. The use of the prosecutorial discretion confers no immigrant status, substantive right, pathway to citizenship or permanency. The conferment of rights is vested in the legal authority of Congress.
6. What is the assurance of the individual eligible for DACA not to be deported?
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Borders Protection are mandated by the DHS to identify eligible young unlawful immigrants in their custody, in removal proceedings, scheduled for deportations and the like.
7. How was DACA Expanded?
While DACA does not confer permanent status or citizenship, it has proven to have helped a substantial number of eligible young individuals move life supports into the mainstream of the society.
On November 20, 2014, the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Charles John issued a memorandum to Leon Rodriquez, Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as provided at http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_deferred_action.pdf in compliance to the Administration’s November 20 executive action to positive responses in order to avail of the opportunities to become citizens as well as to prevent the widespread practices or violations of illegal immigration laws, among others. It is stated in details at http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction. The expanded program eliminates the age ceiling and makes individuals who began residing before January 1, 2010 eligible. The period set for grant and accompanying employment authorization is changed from 2-year increments to 3 year-increments. The application for the new criteria has already started on November 24, 2014 and will last up to three (3) months.
8. What is the Administration’s further Comprehensive Actions for Immigration System?
In the quest for a fair and effective immigration system, the Obama’s Administration has undertaken common actions to evolve into a process more responsive and conducive to realities that are prevailing in the USA. It has been dealing on issues on how to strengthen and streamline US immigration laws, including positive responses to avail of the opportunities to become citizens as well as to prevent the widespread practices or violations of illegal immigration laws. This site at http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction provides for comprehensive information and instructions on immigration reforms.
At the Law Office of Spojmie Nasiri, we provide legal services to individuals interested in United States immigration laws. For more information about U.S. Immigration, contact the Law Office of Spojmie Nasiri Immigration Legal Services at 925-520-5195. Hablasespañol? 888-597-3501.