Opportunities toward citizenship for Dreamers (DACA)
The DACA program, which defers action for undocumented youths, has been reinstated to its pre-Trump administration form. The program is back to accepting new applicants, issuing two-year work authorization and allowing recipients to apply for advance parole for overseas travel.
A recent ruling by a U.S. District Court in New York made it possible for those who have never had DACA to apply for the program. DACA recipients who currently have been approved for a one-year work authorization will see an automatic extension to two years.
The USCIS has informed DACA recipients with one-year work authorization that the extension will be implemented, and is issuing updated two-year work authorization documents 30 days before expiration. Recipients can also now receive advance parole for travel overseas for urgent humanitarian reasons, education or work, with evidence.
Individuals who have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors are not eligible for DACA. Nor are individuals who pose a threat to national security or public safety. Significant misdemeanors include an offense of domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, burglary, unlawful possession or use of a firearm, and drug distribution or trafficking.
A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year prevented the end of DACA, but we are currently awaiting ruling from cases in nine states, including Texas, that challenge the legality of DACA and say it should be ended.
While DACA faces these worries, there’s also a possibility that it may see extensions under the Biden administration, which supports the program. Individuals who are in the midst of removal proceedings or have a final removal order may still be eligible to receive DACA.
Saving the “Dreamers” is the first immigration policy promised by President-Elect Biden for his first 100 days in office. Going forward, we hope paths to legally work in the U.S. and obtain.
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