What Should I Know About DACA Being Reinstated?

immigration law firm Philadelphia, PA
In 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created under President Obama. In 2017, President Trump ended the policy for new applicants and required current DACA recipients to renew their status every year instead of every two years. In 2020, after many legal challenges, a court order reinstated DACA, opening it up to new applicants and allowing current recipients to renew every two years instead of every year.

What is DACA?

The policy intends to shield minors who came to the U.S illegally as children from deportation. These minors are often referred to as dreamers, and the U.S. is, in many cases, the only country they have ever known. DACA grants these individuals a renewable two-year period of deferred deportation and allows them to become eligible for a U.S. work permit, Social Security number, and access to Medicare. However, there are restrictions on who is eligible. DACA also allows certain holders to travel abroad under specific circumstances. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) administers the policy through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

How Many People are DACA Recipients?

In 2020, the USCIS estimated that approximately 645,000 people were active DACA recipients. Those recipients were mostly between the ages of 21 to 35, although some are aged under or over that age range. An estimated 1.3 million people have become eligible for DACA since the Trump Administration terminated the program in 2017, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research organization. An overwhelming majority of DACA recipients came to the U.S. from Mexico, followed by El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Who is Eligible for DACA Under the 2020 Reinstatement?

According to the USCIS, those who meet the following criteria can apply for initial consideration under DACA:
  • Be under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012
  • Came to the U.S. under the age of 16
  • Continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007, and were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of applying for DACA consideration
  • Be 15 years of age or older at the time of application
  • Be currently enrolled in school, graduated from high school, obtained a GED, or was honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or armed forces
  • Has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors, and does not pose a threat to national security or public safety
Note that those who were granted DACA status before September 2017 will now have their protections extended from one year to two years with the option to renew. Their one-year employment authorization under DACA is also now extended to two years.

How can I Apply for DACA Consideration?

At the MC Law Group, LLC, our legal team can help applicants file for DACA protections as the process can be complicated and time-consuming. According to the USCIS website, a person making an initial application for DACA consideration will need the following: Proof of Identity
  • Passport or national identity document from the country of origin
  • Birth certificate with photo identification
  • School or military ID with photo
  • Any U.S. government immigration or other document bearing the applicant’s name and photo
Proof of Arrival in the U.S. Before 16th Birthday
  • Passport with an admission stamp
  • Form I-94/I-95/I-94W
  • School records from U.S. schools the applicant attended
  • Any Immigration and Naturalization Service or DHS document stating the date of entry, or Form I-862, Notice to Appear
  • Travel records
  • Hospital or medical records
  • Employment records
  • Official records from a religious entity confirming participation in a religious ceremony
  • Copies of money order receipts for money sent in or out of the country
  • Birth certificates of children born in the U.S.
  • Dated bank transactions
  • Automobile license receipts or registration
  • Deeds, mortgages, or rental agreement contracts
  • Tax receipts or insurance policies
Proof of Immigration Status
  • Form I-94/I-95/I-94W with authorized stay expiration date
  • Final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal issued as of June 15, 2012
  • A charging document placing the individual into removal proceedings
Proof of Continuous Residence in the U.S. Since June 15, 2007
  • Rent receipts or utility bills
  • Employment records
  • School records
  • Military records
  • Official records from a religious entity confirming participation in a religious ceremony
  • Copies of money order receipts for money sent in or out of the country
  • Passport entries
  • Birth certificates of children born in the U.S.
  • Dated bank transactions
  • Automobile license receipts or registration
  • Deeds, mortgages, or rental agreement contracts
  • Tax receipts or insurance policies
Proof of Student Status at the Time of Requesting DACA
  • Official records from schools the applicant is currently attending in the United States
  • S. high school diploma or certificate of completion
  • S. GED certificate
Proof of Honorable Discharge from Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.
  • Form DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty
  • NGB Form 22, National Guard Report of Separation and Record of Service
  • Military personnel records
  • Military health records

Philadelphia DACA Lawyers at the MC Law Group, LLC Advocate for Dreamers and Other Immigrants

The Philadelphia DACA lawyers at the MC Law Group, LLC can help anyone who is applying for initial consideration or renewal understand their rights and qualifications, as well as the process for applying for DACA protections. Contact us today at 215-496-0690 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout the tri-state area, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.