The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was established in 2012 to protect against deportation for undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States from childhood. Since its creation, this policy has undergone numerous adjustments and faced significant political opposition. As of 2020, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services is no longer allowing new entrants into DACA.
However, the current moratorium on new applications is likely subject to change. The policy also remains valid for immigrants who were previously granted protections, and a Naperville DACA lawyer could help those individuals file for renewal to legally remain in the United States. If you have questions about the future of DACA and how its current specifications apply to your situation, get in touch with an immigration attorney for the most recent information and relevant advice.
Who Qualifies for DACA?
Under normal circumstances, the criteria for seeking DACA protections revolve around the applicant’s age and physical location on certain dates. To be eligible, a potential DACA recipient must have been:
- Younger than 16 years old when they were first brought to the U.S.
- Younger than 31 years old on June 15th, 2012
- A non-legal resident in the U.S. prior to June 15th, 2012
- Living in the U.S. on a permanent basis since at least January 1st, 2010
Additionally, individuals are only eligible to apply for or seek a renewal of DACA protections if they have no criminal history of felony convictions or misdemeanor offenses like burglary, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and drug trafficking. Furthermore, prospective DACA recipients must be working towards or have received a high school diploma or a GED, or else they must have served in and were honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces.
Finally, USCIS must determine that a DACA applicant is not a threat of any kind to U.S. national security in order for them to be granted deferred action or have their status renewed. There are many requirements to consider when seeking protection under the DACA policy, so it is recommended that applicants in Naperville consult with an experienced attorney to determine whether they may qualify.
Recent Legal Challenges to DACA
Like many U.S. immigration policies, DACA has been fraught with controversy since its institution under President Obama. In 2017, the Trump administration attempted to rescind the DACA policy altogether, resulting in a flurry of lawsuits amidst concern that this sudden change would violate the U.S. Constitution and other federal legislation.
After a couple years of appellate trials and further deliberation, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in 2020 that the rescission attempt was invalid on procedural grounds. However, this ruling did nothing to reinforce DACA against future opposition and does not prohibit the administration from challenging the law again in the future. Regardless of what lies in store for DACA under U.S. law, there are dedicated and compassionate lawyers ready to help those in Naperville who are seeking protection under this policy.
Discuss Legal Options with a Naperville DACA Attorney
Although the policy initially aimed to reduce the stress and uncertainty faced by undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, the future of DACA unfortunately remains in jeopardy. However, a conversation with a seasoned legal professional could help ease the fear of deportation that DACA was meant to alleviate.
A skilled Naperville DACA lawyer can explain the new policy developments around U.S. immigration laws and how they might affect your and your family’s situation. Knowledge of the legal system can be a powerful tool when it comes to seeking deferred removal from the United States. To schedule a confidential meeting about your circumstances, call us today.