DACA Related Questions

WHO QUALIFIES FOR DACA STATUS?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is available to the individuals who meet the following requirements:

  • Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Came to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  • Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

See the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services page on DACA for more information.

HAS THE CURRENT PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION TAKEN ACTIONS SINCE WHICH HAVE AFFECTED THE RIGHTS OF DACA RECIPIENTS?

On January 25, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order, entitled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements”, and an Executive Order, entitled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.” On February 20, 2017, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) John Kelly signed Memoranda implementing these Executive Orders.

It is anticipated these Executive Orders and DHS Memoranda will toughen immigration enforcement and could lead to removal proceedings for some undocumented individuals.

I AM IN DACA STATUS. CAN I TRAVEL BY AIR WITHIN THE UNITED STATES?

Yes. As long as DACA remains in effect, you can travel by air on domestic flights. You need to be able to present an identification document, such as a valid and unexpired state's driver's license, state I.D. or foreign passport, meeting the requirements of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

SHOULD I CARRY AROUND DOCUMENTATION OF MY DACA STATUS WHILE GOING ABOUT MY EVERYDAY LIFE?

If you are not a U.S. Citizen and an employee of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or an officer from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) asks to see your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you.

If you are over 18, carry your immigration documents with you at all times. If you do not have immigration papers, you have the right to remain silent. You should never lie about your citizenship status or present fake documents. (Source: ACLU Know Your Rights)

I AM ELIGIBLE FOR DACA STATUS, BUT NEVER APPLIED. SHOULD I APPLY NOW?

You should seek legal advice to determine whether the potential benefits of obtaining DACA status, such as receipt of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), are worth the risk of exposure in the event DACA status is rescinded by the current presidential administration. At this point no one knows whether a decision will be made to suspend or terminate DACA or how any such action would impact individuals who have already been granted DACA status or have a pending initial DACA application.

The Office of Student Enrichment Services (SES) can help you identify a suitable resource for legal advice about DACA.

I AM IN DACA STATUS. SHOULD I RENEW MY DACA STATUS BEFORE IT EXPIRES?

Since the USCIS already has the information you provided on your original DACA application, there is much less risk that adverse action against you will result from renewing your DACA status and DACA-based EAD. Moreover, if you fail to renew your DACA status, you will no longer be protected from being placed in removal proceedings or from other enforcement action.

In addition, you will no longer have employment authorization. In view of the serious adverse consequences of not renewing your DACA status, many DACA recipients are continuing to renew their DACA status and their EADs.

You should seek legal advice if you are concerned about renewing your DACA status.

I HAVE DACA STATUS. CAN I TRAVEL INTERNATIONALLY?

DACA recipients cannot travel internationally and return to the United States unless you apply for and are granted advance parole. DACA recipients can apply for advance parole only if international travel will be in furtherance of:

  • Humanitarian purposes, including travel to obtain medical treatment, attending funeral services for a family member, or visiting an ailing relative;
  • Educational purposes, such as semester-abroad programs and academic research, or;
  • Employment purposes such as overseas assignments, interviews, conferences or, training, or meetings with clients overseas.

The potential benefits of obtaining advance parole must be weighed against the risk that while you are outside the United States, the current presidential administration could terminate the DACA program and you could be denied parole back into the U.S. Before applying for or departing the U.S. with advance parole, you should seek legal advice.

Additionally, you should connect with SES< to report your travel dates.