Need Information on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)? Here are the Facts

The media has been full of reports regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, otherwise known as DACA. It is important get the information from reliable sources on this important issue, which is why we are attempting to provide you with the facts of this policy and the resources to utilize to stay informed and updated. 

What is DACA?

DACA is an immigration policy created to support young people brought to the United States before the age of 16 without documentation in order to receive permits that would allow them to study, work and obtain driver’s licenses over a two-year period and defer deportation.  This policy was established under President Obama in 2012 and required that applicants be enrolled in school or serve in the military in order to apply.  It also required a clean criminal record.  The permits have been eligible for renewal at the end of each two-year period.

Since 2012, there have been 800,000 recipients often referred to as Dreamers because of the Dream Act that initiated the development of this policy.  The number of applicants soliciting DACA has dropped significantly over time and most applications have become renewals.

Why is DACA in the news?

Earlier this month, the White House announced that DACA would not be renewed—the official announcement can be found here.  Without legislative action by Congress, the program will end on March 5th, 2018.  What this means for current DACA recipients is the following:

·       No new applications will be accepted.

·       They are accepting reapplications for current recipients whose permits expire between September 5th, 2017 and March 5th, 2018.  These individuals have until Oct. 5th, 2017 to reapply for a permit that would extend their status for another 2 years. 

·       After March 5th, 2018, the program will phase out as permits expire.

What do you need to know moving forward?

October 5th, 2018: this is the final day to submit renewals for DACA.  This only applies to current recipients of DACA whose permits expire by March 5th, 2018.  This is critical to continue coverage for another 2 years.  If you or someone you know needs help with their renewal (including help with the renewal application fee), Unidos US has a listing of places by state that can assist.

March 5th, 2018: This is the final date for the termination of DACA in its current form.  The president has given Congress until that date to make a decision on how best to support young people covered under DACA after that date. 

Looking for ways to help?

·       Disseminate information to your community about DACA, the upcoming deadlines and where to get help.

·       Help youth renew their application.  Applications are being accepted here.

·       Donate to local organizations helping students pay for the reapplication. You can also donate here.

·       If you are a lawyer, interpreter, or mental health worker, you can volunteer time to support DACA recipients going through this process.

·       Call your local representative.  If you need help identifying yours, you can check here.

 

Resources:

DACA Renewal Scholarships at Lending Circle 4 DACA

Unidos US

US Citizenship and Immigration Services

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