On November 20, 2014, President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would expand the individuals eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) originally announced in June 2012.
The expanded program does the following:
- Extends the deferred action period and employment authorization from two to three years
- The program now includes
- Individuals who entered the United States before the age of 16;
- Individuals who have continuously lived in the United States since January 01, 2010 (the prior requirement was June 15, 2007);
- Individuals of any age (the prior requirement set a cap on age to those born on or after June 15, 1981).
In addition to the expanded requirements, individuals must meet these initial requirements:
- Individuals must be at least 15 years of age (unless certain requirements are met);
- Individuals were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and at the time of making the initial request for DACA (this requirement is subject to change);
- Individuals had no lawful status on June 15, 2012 (this requirement is subject to change);
- The individual is currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forced of the United States; and
- The individual has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin to accept applications under expanded DACA starting February 18, 2015.
*Special Note: Deferred action is the use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal and is made on a case by case basis even if you meet the individual requirements. DACA does NOT provide lawful status or lead to a path to citizenship. It is also temporary. This content is only to be used for informational purposes and is not intended to be construed as legal advice in a particular case. If you have particular legal questions, please contact our office, Figueroa & Jimenez, PLLC at (210) 775-6611.