The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was initiated by former President Obama on June 15, 2012. The program protects certain undocumented persons who were brought to the United States as children from deportation. Additionally, persons who qualify for DACA can get work permits (Employment Authorization Documents) and, in some cases, international travel permits (Advance Parole).

In order to qualify, applicants must meet the following requirements:
  • Be under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012;
  • Have first come to the US prior to their 16th birthdays;
  • Have lived in the US since June 15, 2007;
  • Be physically present in the US on June 15, 2012 and on the date of the application;
  • Not be in lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012;
  • Be currently studying or have graduated from high school, earned a GED or have an honorable discharge from the US Armed Forces or the Coast Guard; and
  • Have not be convicted of a felony or DUI, or convicted of a “significant misdemeanor” or 3 or more misdemeanors of any kind.
On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the DACA program would be terminated effective March 5, 2018. This 6-month period was meant to give Congress a chance to enact legislation to protect the Dreamers. However, Congress failed to act to do so after the Trump Administration demanded that any DACA bill provide money to finance a wall on the U.S.- Mexico border.

However, in January and February 2018, 2 US District Courts issued preliminary injunctions enjoining the Administration from ending DACA. In late February 2018, the US Supreme Court turned down the Administration’s request to allow it to end DACA on March 5.

Since then, 4 U.S. Courts of Appeals have issued injunctions blocking the Administrative from ending the program.

The U.S. Supreme Court had oral arguments on DACA on November 12, 2019. A decision will be issued in June 2020.
DACA Success Stories
End of Program? – Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Qualify for DACA?
Forms and Instructions
News Stories
Practice Advisories