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DACA - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals




“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” is an executive policy of the U.S. federal government . Under this policy, on June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet certain guidelines may request the government to defer their removal from the country as an act of prosecutorial discretion.




Does a DACA filing make my status in the U.S. legal?


No.  Deferred action does not provide an individual with lawful status.  The benefit of DACA filing is that an individual whose case is deferred will not be placed into removal proceedings or removed from the United States for a period of two years, unless terminated.


What happens if USCIS rejects my DACA deferment application; can I appeal the USCIS deferment decision?


No.  If USCIS decides not to defer action in your case, you cannot appeal the decision or file a motion to reopen or reconsider.  USCIS will not review its discretionary determinations.  Contrarily, it will apply its policy governing referral of cases to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTA).  Usually, if a case does not involve a criminal offense, fraud or a threat to national security, it will not be referred to ICE for removal proceedings. However, since there is a chance of being placed in removal proceedings, you should only apply after consulting with a qualified attorney.


What are the requirements to request consideration of deferred action for a childhood arrival?


USCIS lists seven requirements for an individual requesting for a deferred action.  An individual may request such consideration if he or she:

  • Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;

  • Came to the United States before reaching 16th birthday;

  • Has continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;

  • Was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making his or her request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;

  • Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or his or her lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;

  • Is currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, has obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and

  • Has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.




Any misdemeanor involving any of the following, regardless of the sentence imposed, is a significant misdemeanor: burglary; domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; unlawful possession of firearms; driving under the influence; or drug distribution or trafficking.  In addition, any other misdemeanor for which an applicant was sentenced to more than 90 days in jail, not including suspended sentences and time held pursuant to an immigration detainer, will be deemed a significant misdemeanor.




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