Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Despite the US Supreme Court’s June, 2016, decision in US v Texas, which upheld the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision blocking the deferred action for parents and the expanded deferred action for childhood arrivals, the original program announced and implemented in 2012 is still valid.

The executive branch of government – the Office of the President, the secretary of Homeland Security – has the authority to defer removal action against an immigrant not in the US legally. This is commonly referred to as deferred action. This branch identifies what qualifications someone must meet in order to receive deferred action. Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative announced in June, 2012, the basic qualifications for family immigration visa lawyer services are:

  • Entered the US before age 16;
  • Was in the US on or about June 15, 2012, and at the time of application for deferred action;
  • Continuously resides in the US since January 1, 2007;
  • Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  • Is currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school or received a general education development (GED) certificate or has been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and,
  • Have 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.

It is important to know that DACA does not legitimize or legalize your undocumented immigration status.

You can still be deported if you become a threat to national security or public safety. DACA recipients are not eligible for Medicaid and you do not have any obligation to obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. However, under this program, you are eligible for a work permit!  Many states allow DACA recipients to attend college at in-state, rather than out-of-state tuition rates.  And, by having a valid work permit, you can usually obtain a valid driver’s license too.

Contact us to clarify if you qualify and work with you to apply for DACA.


Swenson Law Office, PC

5161 E. Arapahoe Rd., Suite 120