Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA is a prosecutorial discretion authority given to the USCIS and ICE by the Department of Homeland Security with the intention of deferring action on young illegal immigrants and making it possible for them to get work authorization in the US. While the action may only be temporary, renewal is done every two years. The order which came into effect on June 15, 2012, is not a pathway to citizenship and does not give legal status to an individual.
A person must have entered the US illegally while still a child in order to be eligible for DACA. Only those who entered the US while under the age of 16 years and can provide documentation to show this can apply for deferred action. Applicants must also not be over 31 years old when applying. Evidence must be provided to show the age, nationality, education background and physical address of the applicant among other things.
When the DHS issued this directive, they had the public in mind. They wanted to protect the public from illegal immigrants who may pose a danger to them. In order to ensure this, a thorough background check must be done on applicants to ensure that they have never committed a criminal offense since entering the country. Anyone who has committed up to three minor misdemeanors also qualifies for deferred action but felony convictions are not allowed.
Illegal immigrants who have been pursuing their studies or working in the armed forces of the United States are not thought to pose any threat to the public. The DHS is therefore intent on making it easier for them to legally work in the US through work authorizations. This is achieved through delayed action on the illegal immigrant.
It is not enough that a person entered the United States as a minor, one must also have lived continuously within its borders without committing any serious offense. In order to qualify for this consideration, a person must have also been present in the country when the Director of DHS announced the new law. It is important to note that the DHS does not guarantee that anyone who meets all the minimum requirements will be granted deferred action.
It is important to note that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a brainchild of the DHS. However, it is the departments of Immigration and Customs Enforcement services and the US Citizenship and Immigration services that enforce this directive. Individuals who are seeking additional information on the subject can visit the websites of the relevant federal agencies.
Work authorization is normally given easily to illegal immigrants who have been granted deferred action. However, the permit is only valid for two years subject to renewal of the deferral. This means that individuals who fail to get a renewal will also lose their work authorization and risk being deported back to their country of origin.
When it comes to DACA, the education qualification of the applicant is a very important consideration. Only those who are currently in school, obtained a GED, completed high school or retired honorably from the armed forces of the US or the Coast guard qualify for consideration. Generally, the relevant federal agencies will be looking to establish how useful a person is and the danger he or she posses to the government.
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