Deferred Action (DACA)
On June 15, 2012, the United States Department of Homeland Security announced that certain foreign nationals who came to the United States as children and meet several key criteria may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. Deferred Action is a discretionary determination to defer removal of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Approval on Deferred Action does NOT lead to a Legal Permanent Resident Status. Orlando Immigration Attorney Zaida Kovacsik is experienced in DACA applications and renewals. Contact her to inquire about your options under DACA.
- Be under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012;
- Came to the U.S. before reaching the 16th birthday;
- Has continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
- Entered without inspection by June 15, 2012, OR the lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Be physically present in the United States at the time of filing the request for deferred action with USCIS;
- Is currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, has obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Has not been convicted of
a (i) felony, (ii) significant misdemeanor, (iii) three or more other misdemeanors, and (iv) does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
An applicant must be at least 15 years or older to request deferred action, unless (s)he is currently in removal proceedings or has a final removal or voluntary departure order.
DACA in the Trump Administration
On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, in six months if Congress doesn’t find a more permanent solution.
By that time, about 800,000 immigrants who were children when they arrived in the U.S. illegally have received protections from the program. They include a stay of deportation and the ability to legally work and go to school. In a tweet that evening, Trump signaled he supports legalizing DACA, saying he would revisit the issue if Congress can’t legalize the program.
Since then, several lawsuits have been filed against the administration for terminating the program unlawfully. As a result, three nationwide injunctions issued by U.S. district courts — in California, New York, and the District of Columbia have allowed people who have previously had DACA to renew their deferred action. As of today, there are still active legal threats to the program, and court dates and rulings in the next few months will determine the program’s future.
On November 8, 2018, the Ninth Circuit issued a decision affirming the lawfulness of the preliminary injunction in Regents. In its decision, the court reasoned that the plaintiffs in the case were likely to prevail on their claim that the Trump administration’s termination of DACA was “arbitrary and capricious” and therefore unlawful.
Please contact Orlando Immigration Attorney Zaida Kovacsik to inquire about the current status of DACA.