Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Disclaimer: The information below is a basic explanation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) Process and is not legal advice.  Each immigration case is different based on a person’s individual immigration, family, and criminal history.

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet certain requirements may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) is not a new law, and is not the DREAM Act.  Rather, Deferred Action is a discretionary determination to not pursue removal/deportation of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Deferred action does not provide an individual with actual legal status.

All the below eligibility requirements for Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals must be met in order to be considered for this benefit:

  • Entered the United States before the age of 16 years old;
  • Entered the United States on or before June 15, 2007;
  • Have been physically present in the United States from June 15, 2007-present (certain brief and casual absences may be acceptable, but should be discussed with an attorney);
  • Be enrolled in School or have a High School Diploma or GED;
  • Have no felony convictions*;
  • Have no significant misdemeanor convictions*;
  • Have no more than two non-significant misdemeanor convictions*.

There currently is no deadline to apply for Deferred Action.  However, the benefit of Deferred Action and the application process is subject to the absolute discretion of the Department of Homeland Security and may be halted at any time.

A person granted Deferred Action is not eligible for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) for school, or other Federal Public Benefits.  Additionally, a person granted Deferred Action can have his/her status taken away if s/he commits a criminal offense.

*Any person who has any juvenile or adult criminal arrests should always consult with an attorney before applying for Deferred Action.

For advice specific to your case, please call Hoffmann Immigration Law, LLC at (815) 394-1359 to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys.