The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, commonly known as DACA, has been the subject of much controversy since its establishment in 2012 under the Obama administration. The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services’ policy has undergone recent changes: as of 2020, the USCIS is no longer accepting new applicants for DACA protections. However, this position is likely to change on a year-to-year basis following political fluctuations.
Regardless of the partisan implications, DACA currently remains valid under U.S. law, meaning that qualifying individuals can still work with an immigration attorney to defer their removal from the United States. If you have questions about how this policy affects you or whether you might be eligible for deferral, contact a Bolingbrook DACA lawyer as soon as possible.
Do I Qualify for DACA Protection?
There are several criteria that an immigrant must meet in order to be eligible for DACA protection. The most important prerequisite is that those seeking a deferral of deportation must have been under the age of 16 when they entered the U.S. prior to January 1st, 2010. They also must have maintained permanent residence without legal status in the United States ever since their entry.
More specifically, applicants must fulfill all of the following requirements for DACA eligibility:
- They must have been physically present in the United States on June 15th, 2012 (the date DACA initially went into effect), as well as on the date they applied for relief from removal through DACA
- They must either currently be in school or have already graduated with a high school diploma, received a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or the Coast Guard
- They must not have been convicted of any felony criminal offense or certain misdemeanor crimes
Other factors, such as a history of prior deportation proceedings, may also disqualify an immigrant from participating in DACA. A dedicated attorney could help immigrants residing in Bolingbrook determine their DACA eligibility based on their unique circumstances.
Applying for DACA Coverage in Bolingbrook
It is important to note that DACA does not currently give qualifying immigrants the right to apply for citizenship or legal permanent residence in the United States. However, the policy does allow individuals who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to remain in the country, provided they renew their DACA status every two years.
Individuals seeking renewal must complete and submit the following documents:
- Form I-821D
- Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- Form I-765
- Application for Employment Authorization and its associated worksheet
Although USCIS is not currently granting new protections under DACA, an experienced lawyer could help with renewal applications for anyone in Bolingbrook whose DACA status will soon expire or already expired after September 5th, 2016.
Speak with a Bolingbrook DACA Attorney to Learn More
Unfortunately, the future of this policy is still up in the air. However, if you were already granted relief through DACA in previous years, you can still apply for a renewal—and generally are required to do so if you want to remain in the United States.
A Bolingbrook DACA lawyer could provide up-to-date information about this immigration policy and explain how it might impact your individual case. Call today to learn how a committed legal advocate could work to defend your legal residence.