On September 5, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, on behalf of the entire Trump Administration, announced an end to the DACA program. Here are the top 5 things to know about his announcement:
Who Should Apply for DACA?
If you are currently undocumented and want to work, and or obtain a driver’s license here in the United States, we strongly encourage that you apply for DACA.
DACA is currently the only legal solution if an undocumented person wants to obtain a work authorization number, driver’s license, or both. The benefits that DACA provides for applicants are:
- Two years amnesty from deportation;
- A chance to obtain a driver’s license;
- A work authorization number;
- The chance to obtain a social security number.
Who is eligible for DACA?
You are eligible for DACA if you:
1. Were under the age of 31 at the time of June 15, 2012;
2. Came to the United States before your 16th birthday;
3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with the USCIS;
5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
6. 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; and
7. 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.
How do I apply for DACA?
If you would like to apply for DACA please click HERE and follow the instructions.
Is there a fee to apply for DACA?
You will also need $465 for various fees:
- $85 will cover the biometric fees and the other $380 will go to cover the work authorization document.
- Fees can be paid via money order, certified check or valid credit card.
Are there any fee waivers or financial resources in order to pay for the DACA fees?
Yes, fortunately there are a number of great organizations in San Francisco that are assisting applicants in the form of loans and full or partial scholarships.
For more information on these organizations, click HERE.
How long does it take for my application to get reviewed, accepted, or declined?
The review process for the USCIS to approve or decline your application can take approximately two to six months, depending on the number of other applications they are reviewing.
Is it possible to appeal an application that has been “declined?”
It is not possible to appeal your application if you have been denied; however, If your application has been denied you can submit a new application and wait for the results.
Is legal assistance required?
It is not required; however, legal assistance is encouraged. It’s very important that you do not use a notario, and here are the reasons why. Hiring a private attorney is also discouraged as they may charge you hundreds of dollars for their services, and free/low-cost services are available.
We highly recommend that you visit and take advantage of the San Francisco based organizations that provide free or low cost assistance with DACA applications.
Is Deferred Action a pathway to permanent citizenship?
No. Currently as it is written, deferred action does not put you on a path to permanent citizenship–it is merely a two year program that provides applicants with an amnesty from deportation.
Pending the developments in comprehensive immigration reform legislation, you can review this factsheet created by the American Immigration Council that describes the relationship between DACA and the DREAM Act within the senate bill (S.744) and explains how provisions within the bill could render the legalization process cheaper and more streamlined for DACA recipients than for others going through the process. (As of: July 2013)
Will the information that I share on my application about myself and my family be given to Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE), for deportation purposes?
The information that you provide on your DACA application is protected from disclosure and will not be referred to ICE, unless you meet the criteria set forth in USCIS’s “Notice to Appear Guidance” for the issuance of a notice to appear or a referral to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
If your application is approved and you are granted deferred action, you will not be referred to ICE for deportation; however, the information may be shared with national security and law enforcement agencies, including ICE and CBP, for purposes other than removal, including for assistance in the consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals request, to identify or prevent fraudulent claims, for national security purposes, or for the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense. The above information sharing policy covers your family members and guardians, in addition to yourself.