Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, daca (DACA) is an American immigration policy established by the Obama administration in June 2012. DACA allows certain illegal immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.In November 2014, President Barack Obama attempted to expand DACA to cover additional immigrants, but multiple states sued to prevent implementation of the expansion and it was ultimately blocked by the courts. On September 5, 2017, DACA was rescinded by the Trump administration, but implementation was delayed six months to give Congress time to come up with a solution for the population that was previously eligible for DACA. ..Approximately 800,000 young people (referred to as “Dreamers” after the DREAM Act) were enrolled in the program as of 2017.
To qualify for DACA, applicants were required to meet the following, although meeting them does not guarantee approval:
- Came to the United States before their 16th birthday
- Have lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007
- Were under age 31 on June 15, 2012 (i.e., born on June 16, 1981 or after)
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012
- Have completed high school or a GED, have been honorably discharged from the armed forces, or are enrolled in school
- Have not been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanors, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
Several states are suing the Trump administration to block it from terminating the program protecting young immigrants known as dreamers.The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the Eastern District of New York, was brought by the attorneys general of 15 states and the District of Columbia. All are Democrats.It follows the administration’s announcement Tuesday that it would phase out the Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said DACA would end in March 2018 unless Congress takes action to salvage it.