1 DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA) Prepared by California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF), UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic
2 WHAT IS DEFFERED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA)? On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would not remove certain DREAM Act-eligible undocumented youth. Under a directive from Secretary Napolitano, certain youth who were brought into the United States as minors and meet certain requirements, will be given deferred action for two years.
3 DACA (CONTINUED) Deferred Action is an administrative relief from removal It permits an undocumented youth to temporarily remain in the United States as an act of prosecutorial discretion Prosecutorial discretion refers to the agency s authority to not enforce immigration laws against certain individuals A youth who has been granted deferred action is eligible to apply for employment authorization for the period of deferred action Must apply separately from deferred action Must demonstrate an economic necessity for employment Deferred action and work authorization must be renewed every two years Applicants must show eligibility at application and renewal
4 BENEFITS Protection from removal (deportation) for 2 years Can be renewed every two years as long as the program is in effect Work Permit for 2 years Social Security Card Driver s License (in CA) Can stop accruing unlawful presence
5 WHAT DACA IS NOT NOT amnesty NOT a pathway to green card or U.S. citizenship NOT permanent It can be terminated at any time at the government s discretion or renewed by the government NOT guaranteed even when applicant meets all the requirements Applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis
6 AGE REQUIREMENTS Came to the U.S. before 16 th birthday 15 years or older when you apply Can be under 15 years old if currently in removal proceedings Under 31 years old on June 15, 2012
7 PRESENCE IN THE U.S. REQUIREMENTS Have continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 Brief, casual, & innocent trips are OK The trip MUST have been short & reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose for the trip The trip cannot have been because of an order of exclusion, deportation, removal, or voluntary departure The purpose for the trip or your actions during your trip outside the U.S. were not illegal Were present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012
8 UNLAWFUL PRESENCE Unlawful presence is a legal term that refers to the time you have remained in the United States without authorization.
9 DACA AND UNLAWFUL PRESENCE Although unlawful presence does not matter for DACA, it may affect other immigration applications (for example, consular processing through a family member). Unlawful presence over 180 days may subject you to a three year bar from admission into the United States. Unlawful presence over a year may subject you to a ten year bar. Consult an immigration attorney for more information on your individual case. Waivers may be available. This is especially important for people who are not yet 18 years old because they haven t started accruing unlawful presence yet. These people might want to apply for DACA sooner rather than later
10 EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS In high school now; OR Have high school diploma or GED; OR Currently in qualifying educational program Funded by Federal or State grants Classes (example: ESL) that are prerequisites for placement in post-secondary education, job training or employment Other programs of demonstrated effectiveness
11 OR MILITARY REQUIREMENT Be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. armed forces
12 CRIMINAL HISTORY Have not been convicted of: a felony; OR significant misdemeanor; OR 3 or more non-significant misdemeanors; OR otherwise pose a threat to the national security or public safety
13 WHAT IS A FELONY? A crime punishable by more than 1 year in prison
14 WHAT IS A SIGNIFICANT MISDEMEANOR? maximum authorized sentence is 1 year or less, but more than 5 days; AND be one of the following: OR domestic violence sexual abuse or exploitation burglary unlawful possession or use of a firearm drug distribution or trafficking Driving Under the Influence (DUI) even if not one of the crimes listed above, if sentenced to time in custody of more than 90 days
15 WHAT IS A NON-SIGNIFICANT MISDEMEANOR? Any other misdemeanor A minor traffic offense (such as driving without a license) will not be considered a misdemeanor for purposes of this process.
16 WARNING: Even if you don t have any felonies, significant misdemeanors, or more than 3 non-significant misdemeanors, your entire offense history can be considered along with other facts to determine whether you warrant this exercise of this prosecutorial discretion. Anyone with any criminal record other than minor traffic offenses should consult with an attorney before applying for DACA.
17 RISKS OF APPLYING FOR DEFERRED ACTION If the application is denied for lack of meeting the criteria, the applicant should not be placed in removal (deportation) proceedings unless there is evidence of a criminal history or fraud If the case is denied, there is no legal right to appeal Applicants who have been previously removed from the U.S. or caught at the border MUST consult with an attorney before applying for deferred action because there are serious risks to applying in such a situation.
18 WHAT HAPPENS IF DACA IS CANCELLED? A new President could decide to change or cancel it If you have any doubts or concerns, it might be good to wait to apply for DACA after November elections However, time may be limited in which to apply and be approved before new administration But it s not likely that you will be put in removal proceedings if you have no criminal or fraud issues
19 PROCESS IF YOU ARE IN REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS If you are currently in removal proceedings, but not in detention, you can affirmatively request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals by submitting your request to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) We strongly encourage you to talk to an attorney!
20 PROCESS FOR YOUTH WITH ICE DETAINERS FOLLOWING AN ARREST Youth who have been arrested and served with an ICE detainer should immediately contact either the Law Enforcement Support Center s hotline at (staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week) or the ICE Office of the Public Advocate either through the Office s hotline at (staffed 9 a.m. 5 p.m., Monday Friday) Detained youth will be briefly detained to ensure he or she has not been convicted of a disqualifying crime and otherwise meets the eligibility criteria CONTACT AN ATTORNEY!
21 DACA PROCESS FORMS: I-821D I-765 I-765ws FEES: $465 Check or money order to: Department of Homeland Security *plus optional G-1145 for e-notification
22 STEPS: 1. File with USCIS 2. Receipt notice 3. Biometrics appointment 4. DACA decision 5. Work Permit decision There is no deadline to apply so long as the DACA program exists!
23 WHERE TO MAIL YOUR DACA APPLICATION U.S. Postal Service USCIS P.O. Box Phoenix, AZ Express Mail/ Courier USCIS Attn: DACA 1820 E. Skyharbor, Circle S, Ste. 100 Phoenix, AZ If you live outside of California, please go to: & click on Filing Addresses to see where you should mail it
26 IS THERE A FEE WAIVER? NO! But, there is a fee exemption process Need to file before you apply for DACA To qualify: You are under 18, homeless, in foster care or under 18 and otherwise lacking any parental or other familial support & your income is less than 150% of the U.S. poverty level; OR You cannot care for yourself because you suffer from a serious, chronic disability, and your income is less than 150% of the U.S. poverty level; OR You have, at the time of the request, accumulated $25,000 or more in debt in the past 12 months as a result of unreimbursed medical expenses for yourself or an immediate family member, and your income is less than 150% of the U.S. poverty level.
27 WHERE DO I GET THE FORMS? Go to FORMS tab at the top of the page They are FREE! For more information
28 DOCUMENTS YOU NEED TO SUBMIT WITH THE FORMS Photo ID (passport, consular ID card, or recent student ID) 2 color passport photos (2 x 2) High school diploma or GED certificate AND
29 OTHER DOCUMENTS TO SHOW: You came to the U.S. before your 16 th birthday You were in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 You have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 up until the present
30 EXAMPLES OF DOCUMENTS School-related documents: transcripts report cards Student IDs certificates Medical records Proof of employment and/or tax returns Receipts, bills, bank statements, etc.
31 TIPS Type or print in black ink Make copies of everything you send Do NOT send originals Send by certified mail or courier (FedEx) Translate all documents in Spanish with a translation certification: I, [name], am competent to translate from Spanish to English. The attached translation is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and ability. [Sign & date]
32 AFTER I GET DACA CAN I TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE U.S.? Once DACA is granted, you can apply for advance parole, which allows you to travel outside the U.S., with Form I- 131 But we recommend you don t travel outside the U.S. unless it is an emergency AND you consult with an attorney first Can be subject to the 3 or 10 year bar CAN I RENEW IT? Yes, but you still need to meet the educational & criminal requirements
33 HOW DO I GET A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER? To get your social security number you have to have your Work Permit card. Go to your local Social Security Office To find your local office go to: Bring Work Permit Card & an original of one of the following: foreign passport, birth certificate, school records, school IDs.
34 WARNING!! Do not misrepresent anything because DHS has said that the government will criminally prosecute & you could end up in removal proceedings Although the government has said the information on your DACA application is confidential, it may be shared with ICE and other law enforcement agencies for purposes other than removal and DHS has said this policy may be changed at any time
35 RESOURCES Mexican consulate website: AILA aila.org/dream American Immigration Council- americanimmigrationcouncil.org Immigrant Legal Resource Center-ilrc.org National Immigration Law Center-NILC.org United We Dream-unitedwedream.org/resources/deferred-action-faq Department of Homeland Security Memoranda DHS.gov USCIS.gov ICE.gov