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Option for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before the age of 16.

DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, refers to a U.S. immigration policy that provides temporary relief from deportation and work authorization to certain undocumented individuals who were brought to the United States as children. DACA cases typically involve individuals seeking to apply for or renew their DACA status. Here are some key aspects of DACA cases:

Background on DACA:

1. Purpose: DACA was implemented by the U.S. government in 2012 under the Obama administration to address the situation of individuals who came to the United States as children (often referred to as "Dreamers"). It was designed to provide relief to these individuals by allowing them to remain in the country, work legally, and obtain other benefits for a renewable period of two years.

2. Eligibility: To be eligible for DACA, applicants must meet certain criteria, including:

  • Arriving in the United States before their 16th birthday.

  • Continuously residing in the United States since June 15, 2007.

  • Being physically present in the United States at the time of applying for DACA.

  • Having no lawful immigration status as of June 15, 2012.

  • Meeting educational or military service requirements.

Key Aspects of DACA Cases:

1. Application and Renewal: Individuals eligible for DACA can submit applications for initial DACA status or renewal of their DACA status. DACA recipients can apply to renew their status every two years, provided they continue to meet the eligibility requirements.

2. Biometrics and Background Checks: Applicants for DACA are required to attend biometrics appointments to provide fingerprints, photographs, and other biographical information. Background checks are conducted as part of the application process.

3. Employment Authorization: DACA recipients are granted work authorization, allowing them to work legally in the United States. They can apply for and accept employment opportunities, obtain Social Security numbers, and pay taxes.

4. Protection from Deportation: DACA provides temporary protection from deportation. While DACA recipients are not granted lawful permanent resident status (a green card), they are generally not prioritized for removal unless they commit a serious crime or pose a security threat.

5. Travel Authorization: DACA recipients can apply for permission to travel outside the United States for educational, employment, or humanitarian purposes through a process known as Advance Parole. However, travel is not guaranteed, and it involves specific legal risks.

6. Educational Benefits: DACA recipients may be eligible for in-state tuition rates and financial aid for higher education in some states. The eligibility criteria vary by state.

7. Changes and Challenges: DACA has faced legal challenges and policy changes over the years, leading to uncertainty for DACA recipients. They are encouraged to stay informed about the status of the program and any changes in eligibility or policies.

8. Immigration Legal Services: Many DACA applicants and recipients seek the assistance of immigration attorneys or accredited representatives to navigate the application and renewal process, as well as to stay informed about the latest developments related to DACA.

It's important to note that DACA is a discretionary program, and eligibility criteria, policies, and procedures can change over time depending on the decisions of the U.S. government and courts. DACA recipients should consult with legal experts or organizations specializing in immigration to understand their specific rights and options.

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