Empowering undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals
WHAT WE KNOW NOW
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
The original Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program remains in effect. USCIS continues to accept and process new and renewal DACA applications. President Trump's immigration executive orders do not change the status of the program, but do change the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation priorities. These deportation priority changes can put some DACA applicants at risk.
While DACA continues to be available, the overall future of DACA remains uncertain. This is due to President Trump’s previous campaign statements that he would end the program.
Please see below for updated recommendations on applying for DACA and Advance Parole.
Current DACA Recipients
Someone with a valid DACA continues to have work authorization and other benefits (ex. driver's licenses). However, President Trump’s immigration executive orders have changed the government’s deportation priorities. This has led ICE to detain and attempt to deport a few people with DACA.
ICE may detain a person with a valid DACA if they:
Are arrested or convicted for any criminal offense;
Admit to any offense (including minor traffic violations);
Are determined to pose a threat to public safety or national security;
Have been deported or been ordered deported from the United States in the past before ever getting DACA;
Admit to fraud in connection with a government agency (such as the use of a fake social security number);
Admit to gang affiliation;
Come to the attention of local law enforcement
Initial DACA Applications - Recommended only with attorney representation
Sometimes, the benefits of applying for DACA for the first time will still outweigh the risks. We recommend that all potential DACA applicants consult with an attorney or BIA accredited representative before submitting an application. This is especially important if someone has any prior criminal or immigration issues.
Processing of initial applications may take several weeks or several months. If the DACA program ends before an application is approved, applicants may lose the $495 application fee. if the DACA program ends, before an application is approved. Applicants may be unnecessarily be exposing themselves to the Department of Homeland Security.
DACA Renewals - Recommended for Certain Applicants
USCIS continues to accept and approve DACA renewal applications. Renewal applications are being processed in as quick as 4-weeks. Those who renew will gain work authorization for another two years. If the DACA program ends before the renewal application is approved, applicants may lose their $495 application fee.
It is extremely important that DACA renewal applicants consult with an attorney or BIA accredited representative before submitting a renewal application if they have any prior immigration or criminal issues. Prior immigration and criminal issues could impact renewal applications even if people were approved in the past.
Advance Parole (Travel Abroad) - Not Recommended
It is not recommended that people apply to travel outside of the country with Advance Parole.
In some limited circumstances, the benefits to traveling with Advance Parole may outweigh the risks. DACA recipients who last entered the U.S. without permission could benefit later in life if they successfully depart and return to the U.S. with Advance Parole, particularly through a petition filed by a U.S. Citizen parent, spouse or adult child.
Before traveling outside of the U.S. it is very important that people consult with an attorney or BIA representative.
People should not travel with parole of any type if they have:
Previous criminal arrests or charges (even without a conviction)
Any type of criminal conviction
Any history of fraud related to any official matter (such as use of a false social security number)
Been deported or ordered removed from the U.S.
Note on Domestic Air Travel / Travel to other U.S. Territories:
DACA recipients should generally be able to safely fly within the U.S. (domestic). DACA recipients can travel to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or other U.S. territories. Advance parole is not needed to travel these locations. However, people should keep travel options back to the continental U.S. mainland in mind should the DACA program suddenly end.
Immigration policy may change. For up-to-date information check with reliable resources, trusted attorneys, and agencies.
DACA Renewals and California Driver's Licenses
DACA renewal delays may cause people's California driver's licenses to expire. Click here to read more about the steps one can take to to keep a valid driver's license.