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On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  

However, on June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the administration's rescission of DACA was unlawful. The decision from the Supreme Court means that individuals with DACA may continue to renew their DACA protection. Individuals who are otherwise eligible for DACA (but do not currently have DACA protection) should also be able to apply for DACA with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Under this program, certain young people in the United States without lawful immigration status may be able to apply for DACA in order to have their removal from the United States “deferred.” An approval of DACA is valid for a period of two years and also provides Employment Authorization during the DACA period.

Importantly, DACA is not a legal “status” in the United States. It is essentially an agreement between the DACA applicant and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DACA applicant agrees to submit their application for DACA and the DHS agrees not to take any action against that individual for removal (deportation) for a period of at least two (2) years.

In order to qualify for DACA, an individual must establish that he or she:

  1. Is currently at least 15 years old;
  2. Entered the United States when under the age of 16;
  3. Has continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 through the present time;
  4. Was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
  5. Did not have any lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012;
  6. Was born on or after June 16, 1981;
  7. Is currently enrolled in a U.S. educational institution, has graduated from a U.S. High School, University, has obtained a General Equivalency Degree (GED) or has been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard;
  8. Has not been convicted of a felony, serious misdemeanor or 3 or more other misdemeanors.

An application for DACA and Employment Authorization is submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). USCIS will then schedule the individual for a “Biometrics Appointment” in order to complete the requisite background check. If an individual meets the criteria listed above, her or she will receive a DACA approval and Employment Authorization Document (EAD) that is valid for two (2) years.

At the conclusion of the DACA period, an individual can apply to renew DACA with the USCIS. An application for DACA renewal should be submitted to USCIS between 150 and 120 days before their current DACA and EAD expire.

For more information on DACA, please contact Kolko & Casey, P.C. to schedule a consultation.

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Kolko & Casey, P.C. is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese and we can arrange for translators in any other language.