DACA is back! – For Now

After years of attempts by the current Presidential administration, it seems that DACA is here to stay. On December 4, 2020, a U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to fully reinstate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Qualified individuals are safe from deportation and can pursue work authorization for the time being.  

On December 7, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have posted notices on their websites stating, effective December 7, 2020, USCIS is accepting first-time requests for consideration of deferred action under DACA based on the terms of the DACA policy in effect prior to September 5, 2017, and in accordance with the Court’s December 4, 2020 order.  

People who meet the following criteria may apply for initial consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA):

  • are under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012;
  • came to the U.S. while under the age of 16;
  • have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to the present;
  • entered the U.S. without inspection before June 15, 2012, or individuals whose lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  • were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or armed forces;
  • have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety. 

Cunningham Lopez is currently taking consultations while we await more specific direction from DHS and USCIS on whether or not the old or new forms will be used for applications. We anticipate that DHS and USCIS will be very busy with DACA applications in the new year, and applications are handled on a first come-first serve basis. Call us now if you would like to get started and move to the front of the line.