DACA

Who benefits from the Supreme Court's decision to keep DACA

DACA has transformed the lives of dreamers and their communities. In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to keep the program, this is how long it takes to apply.

Who benefits from the Supreme Court's decision to keep DACA

United States President Donald Trump is desperate to put an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) but his moves to cancel the program this week came up against a 5-4 decision of the Supreme Court, which stopped that happening. Since the program was announced in 2012, DACA has been a lifeline for immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children by their parents.

These immigrants have benefited from DACA because they get a two-year permit that allows them to legally work in the country and defers deportation. Also DACA status can mean access to other benefits, such as in-state college tuition, drivers’ license and health insurance.

Application process

When it was approved by the Obama administration back in 2012 the application process lasted about two months but a few years ago that changed. USCIS announced that the application process could last six months.

Who is eligible for an initial grant of DACA?

To be eligible for deferred action under the DACA program, you must:

  • Have come to the United States before your sixteenth birthday.
  • Have lived continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
  • Have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and on every day since August 15, 2012.
  • Not have a lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012. To meet this requirement, (1) you must have entered the U.S. without papers before June 15, 2012, or, if you entered lawfully, your lawful immigration status must have expired before June 15, 2012; and (2) you must not have a lawful immigration status at the time you apply for DACA.
  • Be at least 15 years old at the time you apply for DACA. If you are currently in deportation proceedings, have a voluntary departure order, or have a deportation order, and are not in immigration detention, you may apply for DACA even if you are not yet 15 years old.
  • Have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. armed forces, or “be in school” on the date you submit your DACA application.
  • Have not been convicted of a felony offense. A felony is a federal, state, or local criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
  • Have not been convicted of a significant misdemeanor offense or three or more misdemeanor offenses. See below for more information about offenses that may disqualify you.
  • Not pose a threat to national security or public safety. DHS has not defined precisely what these terms mean but has indicated that they include gang membership, participation in criminal activities, or participation in activities that threaten the U.S.