On October 5, 2022, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling holding that DACA is against the law.
If you are a current DACA recipient, you may retain and renew your status while this case continues to work through the legal system. However, no new DACA applicants are being accepted.
Read the Fifth Circuit ruling Texas v. U.S. (5th Cir., 2022) No. 21-4068.
You can check for the most recent updates on the “Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)” page on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) allows some aliens who came to the United States as children to avoid deportation and receive temporary immigration status.
Our California immigration lawyers discuss the following, below:
- 1. Who qualified for DACA?
- 2. What was the application process like?
- 3. How much did DACA cost?
- 4. How long did it take to get deferred action?
- 5. Can DACA recipients work?
To qualify for DACA relief, aliens must have met certain conditions set forth by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Eligible aliens could apply for relief regardless of whether they were or had ever been in deportation or removal proceedings or were subject to a final order of removal.
The conditions for DACA eligibility were:
- The alien was under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012;
- The alien came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday;
- The alien had continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, up to the present;
- The alien was present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request to be considered for deferred action with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS);
- The alien entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or their lawful immigration status expired as of that date;
- The alien was currently in school, had graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, had obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or was an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.; and
- The alien did not pose a threat to national security or public safety and had not been convicted of:
- A felony,
- A significant misdemeanor, or
- Three or more other misdemeanors.
For purposes of DACA, certain criminal offenses always counted as a “significant misdemeanor” regardless of the sentence imposed. They were:
- Domestic violence,
- Sexual abuse or exploitation,
- Unlawful possession of firearms,
- Driving under the influence, and
- Drug distribution/trafficking.
Other misdemeanors were considered “significant” under DACA only if the applicant was sentenced to more than 90 days in custody. The applicant must have actually been sentenced to custody. A suspended sentence did not count.
Certain travel abroad negatively impacted DACA’s “continuous presence” requirement.
Traveling outside the U.S. before August 15, 2012 had no impact if the travel was brief, casual, and innocent.
If, however, an otherwise eligible alien traveled outside the U.S. after August 15, 2012 and before the request for deferred action was adjudicated, the alien lost DACA eligibility.
DACA applicants had to submit three forms to USCIS along with supporting documentation and the filing fee of $495 no later than September 5, 2017:
- Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals;
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (regardless of whether you intend to work in the U.S.); and
- Form I-765 worksheet.
The cost to file for DACA, including employment authorization and biometric services, was $495. This fee could not be waived.
It took approximately 90 days to receive a positive response once a Form I-892d had been properly filed.
USCIS initially confirmed receipt of the application by sending a Form I-797C, Notice of Action. A DACA applicant received this notice approximately 2-3 weeks after filing.
If the Form I-821D was incomplete or the alien did not qualify, USCIS sent a rejection of the petition or a request for additional information or evidence.
Yes. Once USCIS granted deferred action and issued an employment authorization document (EAD), an applicant may legally work in the U.S.
Need help entering or staying in the U.S.? Call us…
If you or someone you know needs assistance entering or staying in the U.S., we invite you to contact us for a consultation. Our office offers consultations to help “Dreamers” consider their legal options and avoid deportation.
Our caring California immigration attorneys have helped numerous aliens achieve their dream of U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residence (green card) or immigrant or non-immigrant status.
To schedule your free consultation, call us or complete the form on this page.
Don’t lose hope — there are many ways to remain in the U.S. lawfully. DACA is just one.
- See USCIS “Frequently Asked Questions” about deferred action for childhood arrivals; Trump’s Bid to End DACA Blocked by Supreme Court, Wall Street Journal (June 22, 2020); Caitlin Dickerson and , Judge Orders Government to Fully Reinstate DACA Program, New York Times (December 4, 2020); Priscilla Alvarez, Tierney Sneed and Rachel Janfaza, Federal judge blocks new DACA applications and says program is illegal, CNN (July, 2021). Priscilla Alvarez, Federal appeals court rules 2012 DACA memo unlawful and sends case back to consider Biden administration version, CNN (October, 5, 2022).