The DACA program is a federal law that impacts many current New Jersey residents. Officially titled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, it was established under former President Barrack Obama designed to allow children who were brought to the United States unlawfully as minors to remain in the country without fear of deportation. The law was suspended in 2020 for new applicants due to a federal judicial ruling. However, those who were given authorization to remain in the U.S. were protected from deportation as long as they comply with authorization renewal requirements. President Joe Biden subsequently reinstated the program for new applicants upon taking office in 2021.
Benefits of DACA
A successful DACA application does more for the awardee than merely stop the deportation process. It actually allows the applicant to be issued a driver’s license and a Social Security number, which then gives them full authority to work in the United States. The DACA program is not a permanent authorization but is instead a two-year temporary authorization as long as the applicant maintains eligibility.
Eligibility and renewal
Authorization to remain in the U.S. under the DACA program can be complicated. It is a temporary award contingent on application renewal and avoiding criminal conviction while legally in the United States. Temporary allowance means that recipients must stay continually aware of their residency status. There are specific qualifications regarding age and the date of arrival in the country, both of which will require documented evidence for approval.
For new applicants, USCIS will send direct requests regarding forms of documentation that are acceptable evidence for eligibility. For those renewing a prior authorization, all records are usually on file, so the agency will typically only need new documentation in the event that something occurs which could affect eligibility.