When it was first instituted during the Obama administration in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy was meant to relieve the threat of deportation for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States when they were children. While it still ostensibly serves this purpose, the policy has also been subject to numerous legal and political challenges since its inception. As such, its future applicability and enforceability remains uncertain.
Currently, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is not accepting any new applications for DACA protections. However, previous recipients of DACA protections can continue to seek renewals with the help of an immigration attorney. In fact, renewal is necessary in most cases to avoid removal proceedings. An Aurora DACA lawyer could provide critical support throughout this trying process, as well as guidance on what to expect regarding the legal future of this policy.
Qualifying for DACA in Aurora
Although USCIS is not accepting new DACA applications as of 2020, it is reasonable to expect that this policy change could be revised in the future. Under normal circumstances, a prospective DACA recipient must meet all the following criteria in order to seek a deferral of removal proceedings:
- Applicant was younger than 16 when they were first brought to the United States
- Applicant first entered the United States before January 1st, 2010 and has maintained permanent residence here since that date
- Applicant was physically inside U.S. borders both on the date they applied for DACA and on June 15th, 2012
- Applicant has either never had legal status in the United States or lost their legal status—for example, through the expiration of a visa—prior to June 15th, 2012
However, both new applicants and individuals seeking DACA renewals are ineligible for deferred action under the following circumstances:
- If they drop out of school
- If they are convicted of certain misdemeanor criminal offenses, like drug trafficking or domestic violence
- If they are convicted of any felony criminal offense
A knowledgeable local attorney could help immigrants understand how their individual backgrounds may or may not qualify them for DACA under the newest policy changes.
Can DACA Recipients Become U.S. Citizens?
Applying for DACA is not the same as applying for legal permanent resident status in the United States. On the contrary, there is no way for DACA recipients to legally seek a Green Card or become a naturalized citizen under current U.S. immigration law, although legislative efforts may change that in the years to come. Instead, DACA currently allows immigrants to apply for “deferred action” on removal proceedings, meaning that they can seek an official delay to their deportation and still legally live and work in the U.S. in the meantime.
Generally, this delay only lasts for two years, although DACA recipients can continue to seek renewal of their status for as long as they continue to maintain permanent residence here. A hardworking attorney could help DACA renewal applicants in Aurora to successfully navigate the process and maintain their right to reside here.
Learn More by Speaking with an Aurora DACA Attorney
There are many different avenues through which an immigrant in the United States can seek a deportation deferral, but the USCIS’ Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy is one of the most controversial and subject to revision. If you need to have your DACA status renewed or have questions about when you might be eligible to apply for this protection in the future, a skilled legal professional is here to listen and provide answers.
A knowledgeable Aurora DACA lawyer could explain the most recent policy stipulations and help you seek a positive outcome to your specific immigration case. Schedule a private consultation by picking up the phone and calling today.