Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA was created by former President Barak Obama to protect undocumented young people in New Jersey and other states from deportation. These Dreamers came to the US illegally as children. DACA provides an opportunity for them to legally live and work temporarily in the US legally. While they are not eligible for citizenship, they do have some additional freedoms. They can have a Social Security card, a work permit, a driver’s license, and they can attend college.
There are currently more than 800,000 undocumented immigrants enrolled in the DACA program. Participants must apply for this protected status. They must also renew their enrollment. However, all approved requests before July 16, 2021 will remain intact and continue along with the ability to keep their work permits. At this time, however, new enrollment applications will not be approved.
What are requirements for DACA enrollment.
1. Undocumented migrants had to have entered the US before their 16th birthday.
2. Must have been born on or after June 16, 2007 and must be 31 years of age or younger.
3. They must have been in the US when applying for DACA protections.
4. They must have been in the US unlawfully on June 15, 2012.
5. They must be in school, have graduated high school or possess a GED.
6. If they were a member of the armed forces, they must be active duty or honorably discharged.
7. DACA applicants must not be a threat to public safety or national security. Must not possess a criminal record bearing a violent misdemeanor, a felony or three misdemeanors.
The future of DACA
As of now, there is no path to citizenship. Despite the secure protections from deportation DACA provides, the program is still subjected to political posturing. In this political climate, however, DACA recipients have found favor with the Biden Administration.